Summer Fun: A Crafty Girl's Planner by American Girl

Mid-July — the doldrums of summer — when children can sound as whiny as mosquitos.

"I'm bored," they wail. "There's nothing to do." Why, it's enough to ruin a nice afternoon nap.

We suggest banishing boredom with mother's little helper: the American Girl's Crafty Girl's Planner ($9.95). This slim day planner is chock-full of doable ideas that will give kids a creative diversion when hiding out from the heat.

The planner is divided into weeks, with each day offering a clever idea kids can act on. One week's worth of prompts included decorating a barrette with glitter, writing a letter to a favorite relative, drawing a design for a fancy birthday cake, and making a miniature jewelry box out of match boxes and origami paper. Small studs serve as the drawer pulls. It's too cute.

Yes, this will require a visit to the local arts and crafts shop for things like felt, glue, construction paper, and buttons. But there are so many fun projects here, consider it money well spent.

Crafty kids are quiet kids, after all.

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