A variety of books are available with ideas, tips and fun for the summer ahead - whether families are planning to camp, travel or stay at home.
For kids heading off to camp who need a little assistance in letter writing, a great book to include in their duffel bag is “Camp Mail From Me” by Linda Schwartz ($4.95, The Learning Works).
“Camp Mail From Me” contains 32 instant postcards for kids, ages 8 to 12, to complete while they are away at camp. Each card bears a different theme: my counselor, a typical day, a special event and more. They can easily be pre-stamped and pre-addressed as well, to motivate even the most reluctant letter writers. To order, call (800) 235-5767.
For families taking a long trip, Linda Schwartz has also written “The Travel Bug” ($9.95, The Learning Works), a unique travel journal geared for children 7 to 14. The book contains a checklist for packing, travel “firsts,” puzzles and games, and space for journal entries and trip keepsakes. It is colorful, compact and bound to keep kids’ attention during long airplane or car trips, plus allow them to feel involved in the family vacation. To order, call (800) 235-5767.
Camping may be a new adventure for very young children and “Huff and Puff Go to Camp” by Jean Warren ($5.95, Warren Publishing) will inspire discussions of outdoor activities and help children deal with possible fears of the nighttime darkness.
Huff and Puff, two impressionable young clouds, find daytime camping filled with activities, but the night is filled with anxieties. Kids will discover how Huff and Puff deal with their fears and grow to love camping. As a bonus, the book has 16 pages of songs and activities for young children. To order, call (206) 353-3100.
For families taking a trip this summer with small children, all that is needed is a little courage, a lot of patience and a copy of Patricia Gallagher’s book, “Raising Happy Kids On A Reasonable Budget” ($10.95, Betterway Books).
A child-care expert, Gallagher has accumulated dozens of kid-tested traveling tips including low-cost family vacation ideas, tips for staying in hotels and travel games to delight fidgety children. Discover unique toy and snack ideas and packing for “small emergencies.” To order, call (800) 289-0963.
Kids love to get free stuff and Robert and Linda Kalian’s book, “A Few Thousand of the Best Free Things in America Today,” will keep any child busy and the mailbox full all summer long, with more than 1,000 free items available to send for.
Learn how to obtain free toys and household items, cookbooks, T-shirts and groceries. Hundreds of free booklets are available on travel, home improvement and gardening. There are manuals on how to play various instruments, sections on free job-training and much more. Available at Hastings, 1704 W. Wellesley, in Spokane or send name, address and $6.45 to Chameleon Enterprises, P.O. Box 9391, Spokane, WA 99209.
MEMO: The Family Track is a weekly column of notes and information for families. Send items to Lynn Gibson, Features Department, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210-1615, or fax (509) 459-5098.