Summer vacation has only just begun, but it's a good bet you're already hearing the dreaded b-word - as in, "I'm bored!
Thankfully, Elmhurst Historical Museum has a creative cure for summertime boredom: the Summer Fun & Games program.
Each Tuesday from June 21 to August 16, from 1-3 p.m., kids 4-12 with a caregiver can take part in a different toy-themed craft activity, ranging from making kaleidoscopes to teddy bears. The crafts, which cost $2 per project, can then be taken home for extended playtime.
Summer Fun & Games kicks off with a make-your-own yo-yo workshop, where kids will get the chance to meet The Yo-Yo Man himself, professional Duncan yo-yo champion Barry North. North will demonstrate his impressive skills with the tricky toy at 2 p.m., and then stick around to help participants craft their own.
The nine-week hands-on program is part of the museum's toy-tastic summer, in conjunction with the museum's "Toys in the Hood" exhibit. The exhibit, which opened in April, highlights classic toys with ties to the Chicago area - Radio Flyer wagons, "UNO" and Lincoln Logs, to name just a few.
On June 26, a Toy Fair Extravaganza invites community members to enter a Lincoln Log building contest, play "Blurt" with the game's inventor and try out the original prototype for "Operation." There will also be ice cream, prizes and games to enjoy.
Kids 7 and up who excel at Summer Fun & Games will also want to check out July 28's "Young Inventors Challenge Workshop," where they can learn how to turn their own creative ideas for toys or games into reality.
With all these playful offerings, it seems safe to say that with just a quick trip to the Western suburbs, families can banish boredom for good this summer - and come up with a toy story of their very own.
Elizabeth Diffin is the associate editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.