It’s natural for kids to feel exhausted after a long school year. Gravitating toward the phone or TV may also feel natural due to how accessible and entertaining they are.  But spending too much time on these devices can strain your eyes, worsen your attention span, and give you a headache among other repercussions. Instead, take advantage of the great outdoors and newfound free time with these screen-free activities sure to make the whole family feel good. 

Painting, Drawing, Coloring and More

Stop by your local craft store and pick up whichever materials interest your kids the most. From acrylic paints to watercolor sets to coloring books, there are so many options. Consider venturing to paint places like Color Me Mine where you can choose from dozens of ceramics to decorate. The paint-by-number kits sold at Michaels are also super fun.

Create and Craft

If painting isn’t your child’s thing, craft stores are full of other activities. Use clay to sculpt tiny creatures or pendants for jewelry. Grab some chalk and have them dress up your driveway. Make a bracelet out of string or beads, the perfect gift for a friend or themselves. Look into activity kits that have the necessary materials for art projects stored neatly in a container ready to take home! 

Be Bookish

Reading is another passion many students have to rediscover after becoming burnt out from assigned readings in school. Trying out genres they’re not used to, starting a book club with friends or reading in a new environment may help your kid return to this fun hobby! Browsing a library or bookstore or asking friends and family for recommendations are great ways to find new literature. Librarians can also provide suggestions for books to read. 

Geronimo and Thea Stilton, Arthur and Who Was/Is…? are well known series to consider. Mo Willems, Diana Wynne Jones and Shel Silverstein are beloved authors you may want to check out. Dedicating a space in your house to read or store your books, such as a nook, can also push you to read knowing there’s a special place for it. 

Get Your Stitch Fix

Thick, warm blankets may not come in handy quite yet, but it’s never too early to start preparing for winter. Scarves, hats, shirts and cardigans are all possibilities when you and your child learn how to crochet or knit. Not to mention plushies and tote bags! Making your own clothes can be sustainable and gives you free rein to choose the colors, materials and overall look. Crocheting and knitting have been found to be extremely relaxing and are perfect for a rainy day. 

Go Green

Head to a plant shop and pick up a new friend! Taking care of a plant can be a rewarding experience that teaches responsibility and how to care for others. Decorating their pot with stickers or paint to create the perfect home can also be part of the fun! 

Gardening is another way to be one with nature. Grow your own food or flowers to spice up your backyard or kitchen table. Make sure to keep track of their progress; patience is key here! Plant growth kits are fun and accessible ways to ease into this pastime. 

Future Foodies

Kids can become master chefs in the comfort of their own homes. Whether it’s cooking or baking, with practice they’ll be able to whip up delicious treats for the whole family in no time. Consider starting with family recipes that you’re familiar with. Cooking books and subscription boxes are two user-friendly options if you’re unsure how to begin.