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Splash into summer with these sizzling new games, crafts, and ideas that'll make kids come back for more.

School's out for summer! Or at least it soon will be. You can almost hear the kids kicking off their shoes, splashing into pools, and crying that ever-familiar lament, "I'm bored!"

Not with these great ideas for a hot, sizzling summer! Our "Summer!" section gives you never-before-seen zany games with outrageously fun props. One single craft provides five different craft projects that kids will love. You'll get summer reading lists, creative program ideas, freebies to write away for, and more.

Use these activities with your kids, and we guarantee that instead of hearing "I'm bored!" this summer, you'll hear kids screaming, "I want more!"

To solve summer staff recruiting problems, we created the "20-20-20" program.

Our kids, ages 3 through sixth grade begin with 20 minutes of singing and worship each Sunday. Then we form two groups (you could have more if needed). Our little guys go to their classroom for 20 minutes for their lesson on the day's Scripture, while the older kids come to the children's library for a craft or activity related to the day's theme. After 20 minutes, the younger kids come in for their activity time and the older ones move to their classroom for their lesson.

The teachers love this because they only have to prepare what they enjoy doing. They also only have to prepare 20 minutes worth of material each week. The teachers are happy, the children love it because they're moving and more active during church school, and I'm able to be more involved in the entire program.
Linda Wood
Omaha, Nebraska

Many churches put a lot of time and effort into vacation Bible school and then lose the children for the remainder of the summer. Our church begins the summer with a vacation Bible school program. Then for the next eight Tuesdays, we offer a morning camp program from 9 to noon. Our Kids Kamp is an outreach event that brings in children from the community for summer fun and learning.

We recruit church members who have a special skill or hobby to teach. Junior and senior high students volunteer as junior counselors.

Weekly topics include puppets, cooking, creepy creatures, French, bike rodeo, and art. Each morning focuses on one topic. We charge a small registration fee for each week to cover the cost of supplies. Children in first- through fifth-grade attend and are placed in small groups according to age.

Kids Kamp has been a wonderful opportunity for our church to build bridges to the community. Many of our families' first experience with the church came through their children attending Kids Kamp.
Trudy Gerogiorgis
Doylestown, Pennsylvania

When kids have time to do nothing this summer, give them good books to fill their minds. Here are our favorite books for kids of all ages.

•Animal Alphabet by Mary Rice Hopkins (Crossway Books)

•Does God Know How to Tie Shoes? by Nancy White Carlstrom (Eerdmans Publishing Company)

•Holly the Lamb Meets David by Alan and Linda Parry (Broadman & Holman Publishers)

•How Many Veggies? by Phil Vischer (Thomas Nelson, Inc.)

•Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors by Sue Kassirer (Simon & Schuster)

•Mary and Martha by Marty Rhodes Figley (Eerdmans Publishing Company)

•Read-Aloud Bible Stories Volume 1 by Ella K. Lindvall (Moody Press)

•The Children of the King by Max Lucado (Crossway Books)

•The Creepy Sleep-Over by Beverly Lewis (Bethany House Publishers)

•The Ghost of KRZY by Bill Myers (Bethany House Publishers)

•The Mystery of the Lost Island by Elspeth Campbell Murphy (Bethany House Publishers)

•The Priest With Dirty Clothes by R.C. Sproul (Thomas Nelson, Inc.)

•The Treasure Tree by John and Cindy Trent, Gary and Norma Smalley (Word Publishing)

•What Would Jesus Do? revised by Helen Haidle (Gold 'n' Honey Books/Questar Publishers, Inc.)

•Abandoned on the Wild Frontier by Dave and Neta Jackson (Bethany House Publishers)

•The Danger Zone by Dave Gustaveson (YWAM Publishing)

•Moho Wat by Kenneth Thomasma (Baker Book House)

•My Life As a Smashed Burrito by Bill Myers (Word Publishing)

•Mysterious Signal by Lois Walfrid Johnson (Bethany House Publishers)

•The Rain Forest Mystery by O'Ann Steere (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)

•The Secret of the Desert Stone by Frank Peretti (Word Publishing)

•A Time to Keep Silent by Gloria Whelan (Eerdmans Publishing Company)

•Union Army Black by L. Travis (Baker Book House)

These books are available at Christian bookstores or from the publishers.

•Baker Book House, 800-877-2665 or (616) 676-9185

•Bethany House Publishers, 800-328-6109 or (612) 829-2500

•Broadman & Holman Publishers, 800-458-2772 or (615) 251-2643

•Crossway Books, 800-635-7993 or (630) 682-4300

•Eerdmans Publishing Company, 800-253-7521 or (616) 459-4591

•Gold 'n' Honey Books/Questar Publishers, Inc., 800-395-7234 or (734) 481-0900 (Canada)

•Moody Press, 800-678-6928 or 800-678-6928 (Canada)

•Simon & Schuster, 800-223-2336 or 800-268-3216 (Canada)

•Thomas Nelson, Inc., 800-933-9673 or 800-663-3133 (Canada)

•Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 800-323-9400 or (416) 499-4615

•Word Publishing, 800-933-9673 or 800-633-3133

•YWAM Publishing, 800-922-2143 or (425) 771-1153

Our church library was blessed with a donation of hundreds of new Christian books, mostly for children. We cataloged them and set up a 12-week summer reading challenge for kindergarten through sixth grades.

We kept a 3X5 card on file for each child to complete, noting the child's name, the week number, the book title, space to write what the child learned from the book, and a line for a parent's signature. We gave a small prize such as a balloon or a piece of bubble gum each week when a child read a book. At the end of 12 weeks, children who participated every week went to an ice cream shop together. We allowed kids to make up weeks if sickness or vacation interrupted their efforts.

If you don't have a church library, ask a Christian school to use its library, or find books by scouting garage sales, used bookstores, or your own book collection for books to exchange during Sunday school or children's church.
Norma Sultz
Aurora, Illinois

by A.R. Peters

Kids will love writing for these fun bargains. Most are $2 or less; some are even totally free!

1. Looney Tunes Bookmarks-These cute raised character bookmarks come three to a set. Send $1.75 and a long (business size #10) self-addressed, stamped envelope (S.A.S.E.) to The Complete Collegiate, Dept. LTBM, 490 Route 46 East, Fairfield, NJ 07004.

2. Coupons for Kids-Fun things for kids to do. Send $1.40 and a long S.A.S.E. to The Complete Collegiate, Dept. CFK, 490 Route 46 East, Fairfield, NJ 07004.

3. Special Effects X-Ray Viewer-Make your bones appear to glow in rainbow colors as if they're being X-rayed. Send $1.25 for two and a long S.A.S.E. to Alvin Peters Company, Dept. XR2, P.O. Box 2400, Albany, NY 12220-0400.

4. The Floppy Flyer-This is one of the hottest flying items of the year. Send $2 to Mr. Rainbows-Neetstuf, Dept. FF, P.O. Box 908, Rio Grande, NJ 08242.

5. Lullaby Songs for Babies-This pocket-size book has lyrics to many favorite lullaby songs. Send $1 and a long S.A.S.E with two first-class stamps to Practical Parenting, Dept. Sing Along, 15245 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka, MN 55345.

6. Animal Mugs-Choose a giraffe, elephant, or crocodile. Send $1 to Animal Mugs, P.O. Box 1-SAP, Stoney Point, NY 10980.

7. The Flintstones Stickers-Yabba, dabba, doo stickers for Flinstone fans. Send $1 to Flintstone Stickers, P.O. Box 1-SAP, Stoney Point, NY 10980.

8. Tangram Puzzle-A complete seven-piece puzzle set with directions. Send $1 to Alaska Craft, Dept. TG, Box 11-1102, Anchorage, AK 99511-1102.

9. Ventriloquism Booklet-This 32-page booklet explains the secrets of voice throwing. Send $1 to NMV, Dept. Booklet, P.O. Box 420, Littleton, CO 80160.

10. Science Project Plans-Eight science project plans kids can do at home with their parents. Send $2 to ScienceSouth, Free Science Project Plans, P.O. Box 50182, Knoxville, TN 37950-0182.

11. Mega Stickers-Over 200 stickers and a free catalog at a bargain price. Send $2 to T.V.B., Dept. APC, P.O. Box 2838, Long Beach, CA 90801-2838.

12. Yo-Yo Tricks-This sheet will teach you how to get the most out of your yo-yo. Send a long S.A.S.E. to Duncan Toys, Dept. Yo-Yo Trick Sheet, P.O. Box 97, Middlefield, OH 44062.

Orders can take from four to six weeks to process. Usually a check or money order is the best and safest way to pay for your order.

By Laurie Copley

Kids can create all or part of this fun project.

•Pots-Have each child paint a 4-inch clay pot. When the paint is dry, fill the pot with floral foam. You may need to help children use a hot glue gun to tack the sides of the foam to the pot.

•Ladybugs-Give each child one half of a Styrofoam plastic ball. Have each child cover the Styrofoam with red paint. When the paint is dry, paint black dots using a cotton swab. Glue on two movable craft eyes. Push black pipe cleaners into the Styrofoam for the legs and antennae. Push a wooden dowel into the flat side of the ladybug and insert the dowel into the foam in the pot.

•Sunflowers-Have each child cover half of a Styrofoam plastic ball with black paint. While the paint dries, each child can paint 10 craft sticks bright yellow. When the paint is dry, push the craft sticks into the Styrofoam around the outer edge of the ball to create the petals of the sunflower. Push a wooden dowel into the base of the rounded side of the sunflower (behind the petals) and insert the stick into the foam in the pot.

•Butterflies-Have each child make a butterfly wing by bending a gold pipe cleaner and twisting the ends together. Make four wings. Using a hot glue gun, help children glue the wings and a wooden dowel to a 12X12-inch piece of muslin cloth. (See illustration.) Have each child use fabric paint to paint inside the wings of the butterfly. When the paint is dry, cut around the outer edges of the pipe cleaners, leaving the butterfly intact. Then glue on the antennae and insert the dowel into the foam in the pot.

•Tissue paper flowers-Give each child two 12X8-inch pieces of tissue paper. (You can vary the sizes of flowers by using different sizes of paper.) Lay one sheet on top of the other. Fold both sheets in half lengthwise. Then fold in half crosswise. Cut the open edges of the tissue paper to create the petal shapes. Open both pieces of tissue paper, then bunch the pieces together in the center and twist with a green pipe cleaner. Fan out the petals and insert the pipe cleaner into the foam in the pot.

4-inch clay pots
green floral foam
4-inch Styrofoam plastic balls, cut in half
gold, black, and green pipe cleaners
Q-Tips cotton swabs
18 mm movable craft eyes
extra wide, extra long, jumbo craft sticks
3/16-inch wooden dowels in 12-inch lengths
red, black, and yellow nontoxic acrylic paint
assorted colors of nontoxic fabric paint in squeeze bottles
muslin cloth cut in 12X12-inch pieces
assorted bright colors of tissue paper
hot glue gun

Tie-dyeing is always a favorite summer activity. With cold water dyes and tie-dyeing kits, it's easier than ever. You supply the T-shirts, cotton socks, hair scrunchies, or handkerchiefs, and the Jacquard Tie Dye Kit supplies the rest. This kit dyes up to 15 adult T-shirts. It's available for $18.25 from Triarco Arts & Crafts Inc., 800-328-3360 or (612) 559-5590.

Sonja Turner
Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania

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