The Summer Camp Survival Guide: Cool Games, Camp Classics, and How to Capture the Flag, by Chris Pallato and Ron DeFazio, illus. by Ethan Long, $12.95. This comprehensive book includes everything a first-time camper needs for a summer or a just a week away. Ten tabs take you and your camper through the entire process – from picking a camp to packing to postcards to performance tip for camp song. The final tab has an address book so your camper can keep in touch with his or her new friends. The guide makes a great end-of-the-school-year gift that will last all summer long.
Sketch Junior, $29.95. Anyone remember Lite Brite, the late 1980s toy that had you plug in mini-light bulbs into a grid to create patterns and pictures? Well, Sketch Jr. is the Lite Brite of the future. The lightweight “pad” comes with 50 LED lights in assorted colors, and 6 backgrounds to enhance. Of course, without the backgrounds, your kids can come up with their own brilliant creations. It’s trim size and convenient small box for the lightbulbs make it perfect for summer travel in the car, on the plane, or on the couch on a rainy afternoon.
For Big Kids:
Zometool, $5.95 – $139: This kit is both a creativity toy AND a puzzle. Each of the varied kits comes with rods of differing lengths and connector balls. The “Just a Taste Kit” has 24 pages worth of great projects to build, along with puzzles. For example kids are asked to build a shape using specific parts with no picture to guide them. Of course, children can create any structure they want. With many polyhedral shapes possible, Zometool introduces and re-inforces geometric concepts. Just don’t tell the kids they’re thinking while they’re having fun.
Forbidden Island, $15.95. This hotly anticipated game lives up to the hype! Designed by Matt Leacock, the brain behind Pandemic, this cooperative game requires active strategy to take treasures off the island before it sinks. High quality artwork and pieces give it great value. Easy to learn and quick to play, this fun game is a great addition to family game nights.
Check out reviews here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/65244/forbidden-island
Gourmet Magazine jigsaw puzzle, $14.95. This 1,000-piece puzzle captures the essence of New England summer nights. Great to bring on a weekend to the cape, bring back home to the MidWest as a souvenir, or reminder of what will come after the thunderstorm passes. Classic covers of magazines like The New Yorker and Good Housekeeping are also available should you want a trip down memory lane.
Holzwurm, $38.95. This whimsical packing puzzle asks you to fit the worms into the holes so the 3x3x3 block retains its shape. Made of beech. We have many more great puzzles from Philos now available.