It’s late summer, you’re low on ideas and your kids are bouncing off the walls. We’re here to help with intriguing ideas for busting boredom.

Reach for the sky

Take a dizzying tour of the world’s tallest skyscrapers via Google Arts & Culture, at Then use that lofty inspiration to design and build your own sturdy skyscraper with directions from Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry:

Make art on the trails

It’s a lovely time of year on local trails as the lush greens of summer start giving way to the changing colors of fall. Grab a sketchbook and a set of colored pencils, and see what you can find to draw. Try a few different perspectives on the same fern or tree; how does a slug view it? What would a bird see? The Washington Trails Association has more recommendations on how to make hikes fun for kids at, including printable Mad Libs and a scavenger hunt.

Doodle your day away

Free drawing lessons abound online. Two that stand out in very different ways: Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems ( and the optical illusions at Circle Line Art School ( Kitchen Table Classroom lists more at

Pop into the kitchen

Need a sweet treat to cap off an otherwise healthy first-day-of-school breakfast? America’s Test Kitchen Kids has a scrumptious recipe for strawberry pop tarts, which are far better when homemade. It’s at

Awaken your spidey senses

Spiders, nature’s intricate architects, are suddenly everywhere. Cheryl Hayashi, a curator at the American Museum of Natural History, takes us inside their captivating creations at And watch as a small spider lifts a snail shell up a tree, at But be careful what you believe: “Everything that ‘everybody knows’ about spiders is wrong,” the Burke Museum’s Rod Crawford writes as he debunks myths at After you’ve explored your yard’s dark corners with a flashlight to see where the webs are, you can build your own with a PBS Kids craft at