Martha Stewart recommends using shells and rocks from the beach to create a scrapbox. Line a sardine tin or shallow box with a map of where you went and cut pictures of landmarks or animals you saw. (Martha Stewart)

Martha Stewart’s Favorite Crafts for Kids
$24.99. Age 8 and older.

The newness of summer has worn off by now. You have probably watched all the TV shows you missed during the school year, you have caught up on sleep and you’re ahead on your summer reading. But don’t even think about saying, “I’m bored.” Martha Stewart’s new book on kids crafts can keep you busy and entertained during any free time you have until school starts.

Kids sometimes think they are either crafty or not. But you don’t have to like pipe cleaners and felt to find a fun project in this book, which has ideas for boys and girls as well as younger and older kids.

One simple summer project is to decorate flip-flops with small plastic animals. Use a glue gun (with an adult’s help) to attach red butterflies to yellow flip-flops. Or put green snakes on orange sandals. You might fool a friend into thinking a friendly reptile just slithered onto your foot!

(Martha Stewart Living)

Turn a place mat into an easy-to-pack game board for the beach. Draw a grid for tic-tac-toe on one side of the mat and checkers on the other. The book suggests using an eraser dipped in fabric paint to mark lines and squares. Once it dries, you have a “board” that fits easily in your beach bag. Rocks and shells from the beach can serve as game pieces.

Once you return home, those shells and rocks can be turned into a “scrapbox” (pictured above) with the help of a sardine tin or other shallow can. Line the tin with a map of where you went and cut out pictures of landmarks or animals you saw. Glue the cutouts onto the map and then add small toys or shells. Attaching a piece of cotton rope to the back will allow you to hang it on your bedroom wall.

The book includes gift-making projects and crafts related to holidays. Jewelry-making enthusiasts will find half a dozen ideas. Those who like to sew and bake aren’t forgotten, either.

The surprise of the book is an entire chapter devoted to science experiments. So if you’re sitting at home wishing you were back at the beach, try mixing up some cornstarch quicksand.

— Christina Barron