I'm not a parent, but I have spent many an hour babysitting. This month's Lifestyles column stuck out as being especially useful for people who need to entertain children. The three books in the column are perfect for inspiring some outdoor fun.

Writes Lifestyles columnist Joanna Brichetto:

The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids is full of ideas and projects for plots (or patience levels) of any size. Garden-based education experts Whitney Cohen and John Fisher share 100 activities designed to appeal to a wide range of interests.

For families tempted to take outdoor play to the next level, The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids is a boon companion. Camping can be as simple as pitching a cheap tent in the backyard and making s’mores, or an all-out, weeklong backcountry adventure.

Get outside and play! This is the big idea behind Tag, Toss & Run: 40 Classic Lawn Games by Paul Tukey and Victoria Rowell. Sounds simple, but kids who are savvy with screens might not know what to do outdoors without them. (There is probably an app for that, but it would defeat the purpose.)

I may not be a kid anymore, but a recent game of Bocce reminded me of just how fun it can be to play a game outdoors with friends. Will you check out one of these books? What are your favorite resources for planning summer activities for children?

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