Fun Summer Activities for Going Device-Free and Reliving the 80s

things to do without device that a therapist from water's edge can help with

The 1980s were a vibrant and colorful decade, marked by bold fashion, Duran Duran, and an explosion of creative expression. This summer, why not take a nostalgic trip back in time and recreate some of the fun and iconic art projects that defined this era? Let’s put down our devices and pick up our puffy paint. Who’s with us!?

Whether you’re an adult looking to relive your childhood or a parent eager to introduce your kids to the magic of the 80s, these projects are sure to bring joy and creativity to your summer days. And best of all? They help us all unplug and be present with the people we love.

Tie-Dye Everything

Nothing says the 80s like a splash of tie-dye. This colorful technique was everywhere, from t-shirts to bed sheets. To get started, you’ll need:

  • White cotton t-shirts or other fabric items
  • Tie-dye kits (available at craft stores)
  • Rubber bands
  • Plastic gloves
  • Plastic squeeze bottles


  1. Prepare your workspace with plastic covers or old newspapers.
  2. Twist and bind the fabric with rubber bands to create various patterns.
  3. Mix your dyes according to the kit instructions.
  4. Apply the dye to the fabric, making sure to saturate it well.
  5. Let the dyed fabric sit for several hours or overnight.
  6. Rinse out the dye, remove the rubber bands, and wash the fabric according to the dye instructions.

Extra credit if you go out in public as a family in matching tie-dye! Or how about making a tie-dye t-shirt for your bestie!?

Beaded Friendship Bracelets

Speaking of besties. No 80’s throwback is complete without a nod to the friendship bracelets.

Friendship bracelets were all the rage in the 80s, often exchanged among friends as tokens of affection. Here’s how you can make them:

  • Embroidery floss in various colors
  • Beads (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Tape or clipboard


  1. Cut several strands of embroidery floss, about 24 inches long each.
  2. Tie a knot at one end, leaving a small loop.
  3. Secure the knotted end with tape or a clipboard.
  4. Start braiding or weaving the strands in your desired pattern. You can find many patterns online, from simple braids to more complex macramé designs.
  5. Add beads as you weave for extra flair.
  6. Once you reach the desired length, tie another knot to secure the end.
  7. Trim any excess floss and wear or gift your handmade bracelet.

Puffy Paint Shirts

Puffy paint was a popular medium in the 80s, used to decorate everything from clothing to canvas shoes. To make your own puffy paint creations, you’ll need:

  • Plain t-shirts or other fabric items
  • Fabric puffy paint in various colors
  • Cardboard (to place inside the shirt to prevent paint from bleeding through)


  1. Insert a piece of cardboard inside the shirt to provide a stable surface and prevent bleed-through.
  2. Plan your design. You can sketch it lightly with a pencil if needed.
  3. Use the puffy paint to draw your design on the fabric. Get creative with different patterns, shapes, and colors.
  4. Let the paint dry completely, as per the paint’s instructions, before wearing or washing the shirt.

Retro Collage Posters

Collages were a popular art form in the 80s, often featuring magazine cut-outs, photographs, and other memorabilia. To create your own retro collage poster, gather:

  • Old magazines and newspapers
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick or glue
  • Poster board or large paper
  • Markers and embellishments (optional)


  1. Cut out images, words, and phrases from magazines and newspapers.
  2. Arrange them on the poster board to create a visually appealing design.
  3. Glue the pieces in place.
  4. Add any additional embellishments or hand-drawn elements to complete your collage.


Recreating 80s art projects is a fantastic way to enjoy summer while indulging in a bit of nostalgia. These projects not only provide a fun and creative outlet but also offer a chance to bond with friends and family. So, gather your supplies, put on some 80s tunes, and get ready to make some totally rad art!

****Bonus project: Paper Mache

Start Receiving Support From Therapists in Savannah, GA

Summer presents a unique window of opportunity to focus on mental health and personal growth. A licensed therapist or counselor can provide guidance, validation, and coping strategies tailored to your unique needs and circumstances. Therapy can offer a safe space to explore your feelings, fears, and uncertainties, as well as develop practical skills for managing stress, anxiety, and depression. Our team would be honored to offer support from our Savannah, GA-based practice. You can start your therapy journey by giving us a call at 912.319.5552 or emailing us at [email protected]

Other Services Offered With Waters Edge Counseling

We understand that you may experience issues with more than one mental health concern at a time. This is why we are happy to offer support with a variety of mental health services. Our team is happy to offer support with multiple mental health services including online counseling, clinical supervision, coping after a cancer diagnosis, and SCAD student counseling. We are also happy to offer therapy for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, teen substance abuse, and counseling for men. In addition, we also offer counseling for teens, child counseling, family counseling, Christian counseling, grief counseling, and marriage counseling.

Please note: While this blog is designed to help people achieve their goals, the information within each post is not a substitute for therapy or medical advice given by a licensed professional.