Danny Heitman’s “At Random”: Mr. Danny’s camp for bored kids

Welcome to Mr. Danny’s Summer Camp for Bored Youngsters. You’ve been sent here because, with summer still new, you’ve already complained to your parents that you have nothing to do.

When I was your age, we did many things to chase away dullness when school was out. But sometimes, the years stack on top of the old ways, and some good secrets to happiness get lost, as you might lose a shoe or a favorite toy in the back of the closet. I’m here to help you reclaim these secrets.

Have you ever heard someone talk about a house of cards? You can make your own with a deck of cards from the den drawer. Stand two cards against each other on a flat table, tip to tip, so that they make a little triangle. Lean cards lengthwise around each side of the triangle to form walls. Part of the triangle will rise from the walls, making a little steeple. Lay a card flat on each side of the steeple to make a roof for your walls. You can make lots of tiny houses, one next to the other, and get a village in no time. Or, if you try hard, you can stack one house atop the other to make a tower.

Turn on the ceiling fan, or one of those old-fashioned table fans that go this way and that —- the grown-ups call this “oscillating” — and the moving air, like your own storm, will blow your card houses down. It’s great fun to watch them collapse.

If you don’t have a fan, just use your own breath. You’ll be surprised at how strong your lungs are.

Test your lungs another way: Get a beach ball at the drug store or the dollar store. They are really cheap, and you probably have enough money to buy one yourself. Blow up the ball on your own, and just for kicks, see how long it takes you to do that.

Go outside with a friend or sibling, then count how many times you can tap the ball back and forth without letting it hit the ground. If you do this every day, you’ll be amazed at how good you get.

Get in your swimsuit, go outside and hook up a lawn sprinkler or two. Some of them shoot out like big peacock fans, and you can see rainbows in their mist. Others make sharp jets that sting your skin, like when you get a shot at the doctor. Make a game of dodging them, and if you can, make an obstacle course by setting up more than one.

Get a book if you’re bored. Maybe you don’t like to read, but that’s OK. I’m not talking about the icky books your teacher makes you read. What I mean is, find a book that you can love, even if it’s just a big picture book. You wouldn’t believe what the library has. I’ve seen entire books that are nothing but drawings of pirate ships or airplanes or monsters, even.

Still bored? Go clean your room or wash those dishes in the sink. That will teach you to tell Mr. Danny that you’re bored.

Follow Danny Heitman on Twitter, @Danny_Heitman.