Boredom Busters

Summer Volunteer and Community Service Opportunities for Teens

School is out and, for some, summer boredom may have already set in. Volunteering and giving back to the local community is a rewarding and enriching way to keep teens busy and fulfilled all summer. Community service keeps kids active, and it's always free. It also looks great on a college application. Summer is a perfect time for kids to log some great community service hours instead of lounging around on the couch. And, of course, volunteering isn't limited to summertime; many of these opportunities are available during the school year on weekends and evenings as well. We've compiled a list of a few great opportunities in the area.

8 Play Places for Philly Siblings with an Age Gap

If your kids are separated by a large age gap, it can be hard to keep them both happy and entertained. What makes your baby happy can be boring for an older kid who wants to run and play, but squirmy toddlers might not be able to keep up with your older kid's activities. Unless you can clone yourself to take each of your kids to different activities, finding something to keep them all entertained is key.

NYC Toy Stores for Special Needs Children

As anyone who's gone toy shopping in NYC knows, the choices are endless. For parents of children with special needs, shopping for toys brings on a whole different bunch of considerations. I've learned this whether buying or receiving toys as gifts for my two children who each received Early Intervention services.

Whether you're shopping for your own special-needs child or the child of a friend or relative, here are some New York City toy stores that carry outstanding products for children of all abilities. There are no chain stores here, just excellent independent shops where you'll get personalized attention (if you want it) from a knowledgeable staff who has seen and heard it all.

10 Free (or Super Cheap) Things To Do with LI Preschoolers

Living on Long Island isn’t cheap, so when parents find something that doesn’t cost them a fortune—or is free—then we're obligated to spread the word. And believe it or not, there are plenty of activities around town that won't break the bank. From storytime and art to train and carousel rides, here are some ideas to keep your preschooler occupied both inside and outdoors. And for more ideas, be sure to check our Long Island Events Calendar, which is updated daily.

Free Summer Reading Programs for LA and OC Kids

School's out for summer! Camps, vacations, and family visits are scheduled—or maybe you prefer a local, relaxing summer with lazy days spent at the beach or working on our 100 Things to Do with Kids in LA list. No matter what your family style, all kids can benefit from a summer reading program. Public libraries often have programs; but did you know that there are several other free programs for all ages, with prizes, certificates, and sometimes extra activities?

February Break Activities for NJ Kids

Did the recent snow days bring on cabin fever in your home? Get ready for more time off in February. Most New Jersey schools are closed for President’s Day, some longer- even the whole week! We’ve already brought you drop-off options for February break. Now we’ve gathered even more activities to keep the little ones busy, and your own sanity in check, on these wintery days off from school.

Memory Frame Craft with Little Elliot

This craft is sponsored by Henry Holt, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group.

Families come in all shapes and sizes. A new picture book, Little Elliot, Big Family, tells the story of a small elephant who finds a family of his own in the big city. We travel with Little Elliot and his friend Mouse through 1940s NYC, visiting favorite landmarks.

This charming tale inspired us to celebrate our own family with a special picture frame craft. This easy project is a picture perfect way to save cherished family memories.

Affordable Music Lessons In Suffolk County for Long Island Kids

Few places celebrate their musical heritage quite like Long Island. From rock’s Lou Reed to pop’s Ashanti and hip hop’s LL Cool J, Long Island has cultivated its own unique sound and celebrities. But even the legendary Billy Joel had to start somewhere.

Parents in Suffolk County have a number of options should their child express a musical inclination. From group clinics to at-home instruction, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite places for your developing virtuoso. See websites for current programs and pricing. Parents who’d prefer to cross the county border can see our post on music classes in Nassau. And don’t forget our Long Island Classes Guide for other after-school options.

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