For nervous parents facing endless summer days and kids who have the “I’m bored” bug, this is a mixed bag of activities, games, crafts and recipes that will help stave off the doldrums.
The five sections each address a different topic and include detailed directions for at least 14 activities, most of which focus on getting kids outdoors. The projects range from exploring tide pools and stargazing to making a soda geyser, playing croquet and learning how to make some summery treats to eat. While there are many standout projects, this book is not without its flaws. Most kids will have already tried at least a handful of the things in each section. Many of the entries are limiting in that they require specialized equipment or access to specific places. But the worst flaw is a lackadaisical attitude toward safety. Beyond the copyright page, little is mentioned about parental supervision. And the difficulty scale (one=low; three=high) is no help in this regard—exploring sea caves is given a one, while building a tree house is a two. Helpful illustrations and photographs are scattered throughout the book, supporting the directions in the text. But here, also, there is a lack of concern for safety—the “row a boat” activity pictures a child sans life jacket, and it is not on the list of items needed.There are some worthwhile projects here, but many don’t come cheap and most require more skill and supervision than the text recommends. (Nonfiction. 6-12)