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You wait all year for summer vacation, but by the middle of summer it hits you: you’re B-O-R-E-D. Guess what? Some people get their best ideas when they don’t have anything to do. So next time you’re bored, get creative. Make something. Draw something. Read something. Write something. We’ve got ideas from A to Z.

Marshmallow Shooter

It only takes five minutes to make this marshmallow shooter, but it’s good for hours of fun!
Here’s what you need:

  • paper cup
  • round (not long) balloon
  • scissors
  • duct tape
  • mini marshmallows

Here’s what you do:

  • Cut off the bottom of the paper cup.
  • Tie a knot in the bottom of the balloon.
  • Cut off the top inch (3 cm) of the balloon.
  • Stretch the balloon over the cut end of the paper cup until the knotted end lies flat over the cup.
  • Tape the balloon in place.

Here’s the fun part! Put a marshmallow in the bottom of the cup where the knot is. Stretch the balloon back and make sure the marshmallow is sitting right on top of the knot. Then let it go and watch the marshmallow fly!

Felt Flower Necklace

Here’s a great activity for birthday parties, sleepovers, or long car trips. Make this necklace with flower shapes or hearts, leaves, circles, or whatever you like.
Here’s what you need:

  • Felt in your favorite colors
  • 36 inches (1 m) of narrow green ribbon
  • Scissors

Here’s what you do:

  • Cut about ten 1-inch (2.5 cm) flower shapes out of felt.
  • Fold each shape in half, then carefully cut two very small slits about ¼ inch (5 mm) apart in the middle.
  • Slide shapes onto ribbon by pushing one end of the ribbon UP through one slit, then DOWN through the other slit. Leave about 12 inches (30 cm) of ribbon at both ends to tie in a bow behind your neck.

You can make bracelets, crowns, and headbands by adjusting the length of the ribbon.

Make your own word Games

Make your own word searches, crossword puzzles, mazes, math puzzles, cryptograms, and more at Puzzlemaker: It’s free! For even more fun, you and a friend can solve each other’s games.

Read Up a Storm

Reading is one of the best ways to banish boredom. Try reading outdoors if it’s nice, or under a blanket tent indoors if it’s raining. Here’s a list of great new books. You’ll find tons more at your library.
Picture Books
Princesses on the Run by Smiljana Coh—the best non-girly princess book we’ve seen in a long while.

Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier, illustrated by Suzy Lee.

Look Up! Birdwatching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LaBlanc Cate.
Early Readers
Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes (grades 1-2).

Looniverse: Stranger Things by David Lubar (grades 1-2).

Kelsey Green, Reading Queen by Claudia Mills (grades 2-4).
Novels and Activity Books
Doodle Your Day by Anita Wood, illustrated by Jennifer Kalis (grades 3-7).

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan (grades 5-7).

Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz (grades 6-8).

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff by Scott Bedford (all ages with help, older kids alone).
—Book suggestions from Camille DeBoer, co-owner of Pooh’s Corner, a bookstore in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Here’s an A-Z list of things to do when there’s “nothing to do.” How many can you do this summer?
Make paper AIRPLANES.
Read a BOOK.
Bake and decorate CUPCAKES.
DRAW a tree.
Cook and EAT a meal with your family.
Build a FORT.
Make GREETING cards.
Play HOPSCOTCH with a friend.
Make ICE CREAM in a bag (instructions online).
Learn some JOKES.
Fly a KITE.
Go to the LIBRARY.
Make a MOVIE.
Plan a NEIGHBORHOOD party.
Set up an OBSTACLE course and have races.
Make sock PUPPETS and put on a show.
Play Twenty QUESTIONS.
Organize your ROOM.
Write a STORY.
Walk in the rain under an UMBRELLA.
Fill a VASE with paper flowers.
WASH your family’s car.
Make a XYLOPHONE with glasses of water.
Look for things that are YELLOW.
Visit the ZOO.

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