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How to keep the kids (of all ages!) occupied this summer

With summer break fast approaching, I’m always looking for activities that will keep the kids occupied, entertained and off their devices.

You, too?

One of our go-to boredom buster activities is pulling up a guided drawing art less from Art For Kids Hub. I feel like I’ve talked about our love of this website before on the blog and probably social media as well, but let’s talk about it again.

Art is one of those activities that we will pretty much always say yes to. We keep lots of paper, markers, colored pencils, scissors and tape readily available for when the kids are feeling creative (or bored. Ugh, I hate that word.) I like that all four kids enjoy art and am always amazed at what they create.

Art For Kids is a website with hundreds of guided drawing lessons taught by Rob, an artist who started teaching his kids how to draw and turned that hobby into a pretty fabulous resource for other families.

I asked the kids to be my models after school to show you how universally entertaining this activity can be. So, here you have all four kids – ages 13, 11, 9 and 7 doing the same drawing of a llama and each one enjoying the process.

We did this lesson up in my studio and I can see this happening a lot this summer! I’m hoping that I can get in on the action, too, because I actually really enjoy following along and drawing along side the kids.

The thing I like best about Art For Kids is that there are hundreds of video drawing lessons that are super easy to follow and can work for all skill levels.

This llama, for example, was just as fun for Ethan (the oldest) as it was for Audrey (the youngest).

All of the lessons are done with Sharpie and I was a little hesitant about that at first. When we first started using this site, the kids were even younger than they are now and we all know that permanent market + four year old = nothing good.

BUT, in the words of Art Teacher Rob, using a sharpie (or other bold marker) means the kids can’t erase and just continue on with their drawing even if it isn’t perfect. It gives them confidence, makes for impactful drawings and the artwork always turns out so original because of it.

Once the line drawings are done, they can fill in with color.

Did you notice I have two lefties? Kinda crazy.

And – tada! – the finished drawings:

I love that each one is different, they are improving their drawing skills, and doing something together.

We have always just watched videos for free on Artforkidshub.com but a few weeks ago when I went to the site to pull up an activity for Audrey, I noticed that they now offer a monthly membership.

I subscribed ($2.99/month) to get access to all of the art lessons, hundreds of printables and all of the videos are ad-free (that’s what really tipped me over the edge. I don’t trust YouTube enough to let the kids freely watch videos. #mamabear). Plus, I am so grateful for Rob and his team to create such great entertainment for my kids that I’m happy to support his family business.

If you are looking for an easy activity to keep your kids occupied this summer, the Lex family highly recommends Art For Kids.

27 thoughts on “How to keep the kids (of all ages!) occupied this summer”

  1. The picture of the kids holding up their drawings is possibly my favorite of your kids since I’ve been reading your blog :) ! I’m not sure why, I just love it!

    -Kyrie<

  2. My kids are all grown now but they are all somewhat artsy.
    It’s admirable that you are nurturing your children’s natural creativity.
    They will have fond memories of these summers of childhood and hopefully carry on the tradition to their own little ones some day.
    Blessings.

  3. Mary beth at mbz interiors

    Love it! Either your kids are fab artists because the drawings are awesome or the site is one heckuva teacher.

  4. I love things like this! I have 4 kids, younger than yours but love doing projects where everyone is doing the same thing. Have you ever checked out https://www.deepspacesparkle.com/ ? She’s an art teacher with lots of free lessons/videos that we have devoured as a family. The things my kids have created are amazing.

  5. Looks like your children have your creative genes – very impressive art work by all of them! Thank you for the link, I’m sure I could learn from this site too! :)

  6. I love the lefty count! My extended family has a ton of lefties (myself included), and practically every creative outlet is represented. I love it!!

  7. We love Rob & Art For Kids Hub. My eight year old has been following along and making amazing drawings for the last 2 years. It’s also a great way to entertain his friends when they come over.

  8. Emily, thanks for the fun suggestion–can’t wait to point my two kiddos toward this now that summer has officially begun. On another note, can you share where you found that table or who makes it? I’m in the market for a new dining room table and love the look of that one.

    1. The table is our old dining room table from Restoration Hardware. I don’t think they sell this style anymore … we bought it over 10 years ago!

  9. I use this website in my first grade class and it’s FANTASTIC! We use a couple specific ones to go along with things we are studying (like the Liberty Bell), and they beg to do it for indoor recess, etc. my own 6 and 8 year olds love it too! I cannot say enough good things about Art for Kids Hub!

  10. Thanks for this great idea! My 4 kiddos (same ages as yours) love art too and this looks like a perfect activity to enjoy together. I can’t believe how much your oldest son looks like you in those pictures! :)
    Please pass along any other fun ideas you have for keeping them occupied in the summer!

  11. Love this. Looking forward to trying it with my daughter!

    Helpful Hint: Rubbing alcohol will remove sharpie from many surfaces – fabric, wood, walls, etc. This tip has saved me (and my furniture) on several occasions. Look for the higher concentrations for the best cleaning power.

  12. Such a great idea. And can I just say your kids are looking so grown up – there haven’t been many pictures of them since the road trip last year and I can’t believe how much they have changed!

  13. Wow!!!! I just love this. I’m for sure going to subscribe for my two kiddos. This is great for all of us to get to do together.
    Also…noticed the new benches/table up in your office space! love it!

  14. This is a really cute idea! But I believe boredom is necessary so kids can learn to be creative on their own. Just a thought! :)

    1. I totally agree. My kids are terrible about being bored and I keep pushing them to figure it out, find something to do, be creative. I like having a few good resources of things/ideas/activities on hand.

  15. Oh my goodness! THIS IS AMAZING!!! Thank you so much! We have been out of school (homeschool) for two weeks and I was already running out of ideas. This is perfect for summer – and even homeschool come this fall. Yep, amazing! Thank you, gracias, domo arigato, etc!

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