A Kaiser Foundation Study says elementary-aged children spend 7.5 hours a day being entertained by screens, and it’s not unrealistic to think that figure only grows as kids become tweens and teens. Technology is a fact of life today, leaving parents on the lookout for fun, creative, screen-free ways children can use their minds and express themselves.


Check out this roundup of five artful books that share ways children — and, yes, you — can create.


By Deborah Green


Check out 75 unique craft projects for all skill levels involving the iconic markers you’re usually taking away from the kids. Young artists — and grownups — can take their coloring to the next level with these Sharpie-inspired projects for homewares and accessories, ranging from upcycled cups and saucers to sneakers, headphones, bags, and more.


By Marisa Edghill


There are fewer crafting materials hotter than washi tape right now. Originally from Japan, the colorful paper tape is easy to tear or cut, can be written on, and is easily removable and repositionable, making it a fantastic creative resource. Author Marisa Edghill offers up 75 washi tape-based projects, from baskets and beads to earrings and bags.


By Ilona Molnar


Creativity sits at the end of everyone’s fingers, thanks to this book, which teaches readers step-by-step how to make 30 classic fictional foes, including trolls, pirates, warlocks, famous superheroes, and more. Children need only a stamp pad (or watercolor paint), a pen, and their imagination.


By Mary Scott Huff


It’s a hobby — and art form — that can span a lifetime, so why not start your knitter young? This guide offers clear instructions and full-color pictures geared toward the young beginner, as well as a host of projects that will appeal to kids as their skills increase. If knitting’s not your child’s interest, other titles in the Creative Kids series include Complete Photo Guides to Bead Crafts, Sewing, Crochet, and more.


By Lorie King Kaehler


Parents and kids can take chalk beyond hopscotch and doodling into a whole new fun, messy arena — indoors or out. Exploding Stomp Chalk, Sidewalk Chalk Paint, Chalk Bubbles, and Ice Chalk Volcanoes are just some of the 25 unique creations that offer fun, colorful, and interactive sensory ways to play in a whole new way.