The sun's at its scorching best. If this spells a lot of time at home for you, fret not. Here are some great, fun ideas to keep you busy and involved through the summer.

First, start by making new friends in your neighbourhood. So why not invite them over, get to know each other and have play days in each of your houses in turns. Of course, this will require your parents' permission and help. You weren't thinking of hopping off to your friend's house on your own were you? Ask your parents to draw out a schedule for play days, this way you will spend more time with your friends and also head out of your house and into another's.

Board games: What better way to beat boredom indoors than playing games — one that doesn't involve running around and breaking stuff. Also, you could fix a time for family and get everyone in the house to bond over a game of Snakes and Ladders or cards.

Get creative: Surf the net or look up books to get ideas on different craft projects using paper, paint, beads, needle and thread, clay or just about any material. Get hold of some do-it-yourself kits either in shops or again in the internet and books and learn things right at home. You could learn to perform magic tricks, make candles, stuffed-toys, photo frames…

You needn't restrict yourself to just arty stuff but go on to build your own haunted house or safari trail in your room with blankets, dolls and chart papers. Invite friends over to join in.

You can also learn to build your own cardboard race cars and pit them against your friend's to see which is faster.

If you are into writing, then why not write a novel perhaps about your summer vacation for starters or about an adventure that you wish you were on.

Cooking:

With Mummy's help learn to make your own easy-to-make dishes like salads, sandwiches, milkshakes, juices, cookies and other items. Invite your friends and treat them to some of your tasty dishes! Or you could share the work by asking each of your friends to pitch in with a dish prepared by them.

Movies and Books:

It's the best time to catch up on movies and books you've always wanted to watch/ read. Look up other articles in this issue that recommend some good summer-time books and movies that you should not miss.

Gardening: Stretching the boundaries of your “indoor” activities to the compound wall of your house, we have gardening as another interesting option for you this summer. For starters, ask you parents to allocate a small plot in your garden or a few pots exclusively for you and you should be solely responsible for its watering and weeding. Read up or ask your neighbourhood plant nurseries for help on the type of plants that can be planted and are easy to grow. Choose whether you want a flower garden or vegetable garden. You can record your attempts in a diary and also present saplings to your friends.

Have a good summer, indoors!

Why is gardening a good idea?

It teaches children patience; the idea that

not everything has instant gratification.

Children will learn about gardening and

the different types of plants.

Gardening may help a child become more

environmentally aware and conscious.

Find out more about

gardening:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/

gardening/gardening_with_

children/

http://www.kidsgardening.com/

http://www.gardeningwith

children.co.uk/

http://gardening.about.com/

Fun activities:

http://familycrafts.about.com/od/summercrafts/a/summermn.htm

http://www.summeractivitiesforkids.co.uk/indoor-activities-category.html

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/summer_crafts_for_kids.htm

http://fun.familyeducation.com/summer/seasons/32954.html