Kids can't wait for summer vacation, but beating boredom often becomes the biggest challenge.
Every year, Zillions, Consumer Reports for Kids, asks readers to submit ideas for summer fun in its Boredom Busters contest.
Here are some of this year's winners, featured in the July/August issue:
Make a neighborhood guidebook. Take pictures of your neighborhood and put them in a book.
Have a fund-raising pet party. Pets can perform tricks while you collect donations for the local Humane Society. Serve snacks and give out pet treats for party favors.
Have a clean-up day. Pick a spot that needs cleaning up and have a contest to see who can pick up the most trash.
Go back yard camping. Pack up some food, clothes and sleeping bags and camp in your back yard.
Have a yard sale. Gather up old items you don't want anymore and sell them. You can also sell baked goods.
To enter this year's Boredom Busters contest, send your ideas to: Zillions Summer Boredom Busters, 101 Truman Avenue, Yonkers, N.Y. 10703-1057.
To find the good stuff amid the masses of computer software for children, visit the new online software store launched by Discoveryschool.com, an educational resource site sponsored by the media company that owns the Discovery Channel.
The store features 800 educational software titles, searchable by grade level and subject matter. All of them have been rated high by Children's Software Revue, an independent reviewer of children's software. There's also a list of the top 50 children's software titles, in-depth descriptions, reviews and product samples.
The site also includes articles on children and computers.
A new section on Discovery's site is Summer Sky Watch 1999, which shows what to look for in the night sky and includes tips for observing.
For the computer kid, here's an enlightening, educational and possibly profitable way to spend time in cyberspace.
Surfari Summer '99 [http://www.lycos.com/cybersurfari/play.htm] is a World Wide Web treasure hunt that takes children and families to more than 100 safe and fascinating destinations throughout the Internet. The hunt, which runs through Oct. 15, is designed to expose people to the vast information available on the Web.
The hunt requires players to use deductive reasoning, navigation skills, diligence and perseverance. Players go to seven CyberSurfari CyberStation links, sponsored by organizations such as the National Education Association and Hewlett Packard, where they will find clues leading to information that will reveal a treasure code. The goal is to collect as many treasure codes as possible.
Players can win prizes, including cash, T-shirts and mouse pads. The treasure hunt was founded by the Software and Information Industry Association and The Children's Web Surfing Alliance.
Clean and Convenient
In an age of high-tech solutions to simple problems comes this refreshing invention from former Mrs. United States Melanie Patterson. Pibs, paper bibs on a roll, are exactly what the name implies.
The disposable bibs come in paper towel-like rolls of 15, sized for infants or toddlers. They have a poly-laminate background to protect clothing. Parents just rip off a bib, slip it over their child's head, use it and toss it away.
The bibs cost $9.99 a roll for infant size and $13.49 for toddler size. To order, call 877-930-7427 or visit the Web site [www.pibsonaroll.com].