5 kid-friendly ways to keep summer boredom away

World offers exploration, entertainment and experimentation for all

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School’s been out for about three weeks. Are the kids getting bored yet? Here are some ideas to keep their minds and bodies busy and engaged during the long weeks of summer.

1. Science in the Park

• What: Children can try hands-on crafts and experiments designed for learning about nature.

• When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. before every Noon Concert Wednesday to Aug. 10.

• Where: Esther Short Park, 605 Esther St., Vancouver.

• Ages: No age limit.

• Cost: Free.

• Activity topics: Wednesday, Growing Up Green; July 13, Green Thumb; July 20, Cutting the Waste; July 27, Turning Big Water Drops into Little Ones; Aug. 3, Be Green for Wildlife; Aug. 10, Exploring the 3 R’s.

• Concerts: Wednesday, Vancouver Pops Orchestra; July 13, The Pearls; July 20, Lincoln’s Beard; July 27, Castletown; Aug. 3, Three Together; Aug. 10, River Twain.

• Learn more: www.cityofvancouver.us/publicworks/page/science-park

2. Archaeology for kids

• What: Fort Vancouver Kids Dig.

• When: 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and July 23.

• Where: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, 1001 E. Fifth St., Vancouver.

• Ages: 8 to 12.

• Limit: 20 kids each session.

• Cost: Free with admission to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Register in advance or day-of at the site.

• Details: Kids get hands-on archaeology experience in a mock kids’ dig. Kids excavate a mock site with trowels, screen dirt, measure and map their finds and discover the historical secrets that lie below their feet. Kids work with park staff, volunteers and students from Fort Vancouver’s public archaeology field school.

• Contact: National Park Service, 360-816-6230.

• Learn more: www.nps.gov/fova/learn/historyculture/archaeologyforkids.htm

3. Visit a Native American plankhouse

• What: Second Sunday at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

• When: 1 p.m. program followed by 2 p.m. guided ethnobotany hike Sunday and Aug. 14.

• Where: Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, 1071 S. Hillhurst Road, Ridgefield.

• Ages: All ages.

• Cost: Free, but $3 for parking.

• Details: On Sunday, the public can learn about contemporary masks made by artists Lillian Pitt and Bill Rutherford. Both artists will talk about how they were inspired by Native American cultures of the Columbia River and why they use masks to express themselves, even though masks are not typically a part of Chinookan culture. On Aug. 14, it’s Traditional Technologies Day. Visit the plankhouse and learn about traditional Native tools and techniques. Learn how to throw an atlatl, shoot a bow and arrow, make friction fire and weave. See stone tools being created.

• Learn more: 360-887-4106 or www.ridgefieldfriends.org

4. Camas Public Library summer movies

• What: Kid-friendly movies.

• When: 2 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 10.

• Where: Camas Public Library, 625 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas.

• Ages: All ages, but movies are rated G to PG-13.

• Cost: Free.

• Details: Family-friendly movies projected upstairs on the big screen, and popcorn will be served.

• Movies: Wednesday, “Up,” PG; July 13, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” PG; July 20, “The Good Dinosaur,” PG; July 27, “The AristoCats,” G; Aug. 3, “Zootopia,” PG; Aug. 10, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” PG-13.

• Learn more: 360-834-4692 or www.facebook.com/CamasPublicLibrary

5. Fort Vancouver Regional Library

• What: Various free activities for kids.

• When: Various times and days.

• Where: Eight full-service community libraries in Clark County.

• Ages: Varies.

• Cost: Free.

• Details: Activities include reptile shows, story times, role-playing games, video games, robotics, Legos, language practice, summer reading programs and more. Contact Local branch libraries for specific programs.

• Learn more: www.fvrl.org and click “Events & Storytimes.”