Teen Screen-Free Subscription Box: Maintaining Mental Wellness

With the school year and virtual classes upon us, we knew that teens would be searching for alternatives to sitting in front of a screen when they weren’t in school. At the library, we are always striving to give our teens what they want and need, and our solution was a themed subscription box from the library filled with activities and goodies that don’t require a screen. Each box contains a themed book list of reading recommendations, three activities, surprise goodies, the option to have a book checked out to you that fits the theme, and an optional zoom program you can attend if you need socialization. For September, we felt like it was important to focus on mental health to help teens form positive and healthy habits to maintain their well-being as they balance normal stressors in their lives on top of the extra stress that comes with a pandemic. 

September’s box included:

  • Booklist of teen non-fiction titles about mental health
  • DIY Journal Kit (with the option to attend Teen Art Club where we will be decorating them together while hanging out)
  • Positivity Clothespins Craft
  • Hiking Scavenger Hunt with native Missouri plants and animals
  • Graphic Organizers for scheduling, exercise, healthy meal planning, chore charts, and habit trackers
  • Goodies such as play-doh, post it notes, a notebook with a positive message, a handmade flower pen, coloring sheets, and a brain stress-ball
  • Community mental health resources and a list of apps that help teen wellness
  • A postcard with a message from a librarian 

We know that our supplies (and budget) are limited for how many boxes we can produce each month; however, we can share with you digitally many of the ideas and concepts that went inside this box for you to download and print for your own use at home! 

Shanon Barton works in Youth Services at the Kirkwood Public Library. She started volunteering for KPL when she was in 7th grade and loves that she gets to work there as her “real adult job.” When not hanging out in the stacks at work, she can be found at home watching Netflix, eating pizza rolls, and planning themed events with friends. If you catch her with her nose in a book, it will most likely be a YA historical fiction novel with some sprinkling of supernatural or magical elements.