Coloring. It can be done with crayons, colored pencils, markers, pens, or just about anything that makes color. You can do it on blank paper, ruled paper, or colored paper — doesn’t matter. I love coloring. Every kid that crosses my path is encouraged to color.
Whether we’re coloring in a book ^^^ like one of my kids and I did in the above, or creating nonsense like below. It’s a magical experience. I’d never seen a One-Eyed One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater but by golly, I was determined to color one after the song became stuck in my head. My kid had never heard the song, so I started singing it. She was so amused that she tried to create her own OEOHFPPE as well. Coloring has therapeutic qualities so I encourage it as a “Quiet Time” activity. Once a kid understands the concept of keeping colors ON PAPER ONLY — they can be left to do it anytime. My littlest kids (3-7) prefer to “free color” on blank pages, and my older kids usually prefer actual coloring books. The creations from coloring are judgment-free. Children that struggle to find the words for their thoughts or emotions are very likely to try coloring them into reality. It’s a technique used by many therapists. If you’re a parent short on ideas, a new box of crayons (about $1.40) and a new coloring &/or sketchbook ($3-11) can really brighten up a kids day.