Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The "I Am Sooooooo Bored" Jar

UPDATE:  Revised edition is here, with a list of 150 ideas for the jar.  We added a few more for this summer.  Enjoy!

As of yesterday, we hit that point in summer break -- one week into it, mind you -- where the cries of "I am sooooooooo Bored!" had already begun.

Yesterday afternoon was a bit rainy and gloomy, making outside play a little dicey which was a big part of the problem.   Perfect for springing my master plan for summer amusement.

Luckily, this year I had a secret weapon:  I found the idea for an "I'm bored" jar on Pinterest -- from the blog Shaydes of Life -- before the end of school.  With a little searching, I found several more iterations of the same theme bouncing around Pinterest, and had pinned several more blog posts and similar ideas for just such a moment.

I had also picked up a couple of packages of jumbo craft sticks -- they come 75 to a pack for less than $3 at most WalMarts and craft stores.  We already had a large jar that was just gathering dust, having been recently emptied of its contents when I cleaned out a cabinet upstairs.  We also had some ultra fine tipped Sharpie markers, and various cardstock paper scraps that could be fashioned into a label.

It really isn't a lot to get this started:

Once we made the label out of cardstock, we just taped it onto the jar using invisible scotch tape.  Easy peasey!

The only thing missing was some bright spray paint for the lid, but I figured we can do that later if we really want to do so.  The jar is fairly old, so it has a rust spot on the metal lid here and there.  We'll likely paint it at some point -- maybe something bright with polka dots -- but just haven't gotten around to it yet.

We worked on this together, pulling ideas for the suggestion sticks inside from several blog posts:

--  Shaydes of Life
--  Six Sisters Stuff
--  The Happy Housewife
--  The Daily Digi
--  Hilary Is Happy
--  The Taylor House
--  Aggieland Mommy

We also put together several ideas of things we like to do at our own house.  I threw in several sticks for things that need to be done in terms of cleaning and organizing, as much as a figure out what you want to do on your own first disincentive as anything.

Since I let The Peanut help me make it and also put several suggested activities on the sticks, I started the whole jar with buy-in from her.  This morning, she begged to pull out a stick -- and we had a little dance party to start off the day.  So far, so good.

The one rule for the "I Am Sooooooooo Bored" jar is that mom or dad has veto power over anything pulled out that is too time-intensive if it is late or if we are headed out the door in a short time-frame, or if weather or some other important reason makes it impossible (for example, picking out a "go to the park" stick on a day when it is pouring down rain).  We agreed on the rules up front so that everyone was on the same page.

Most of these should pretty universally work for most kids, although adjustments would likely need to be made for younger ones.  If you have a boy, perhaps the mani/pedi and hair salon options wouldn't be as popular, but the beauty of this idea is that you can adjust the options to fit your particular family and your own interests.  How awesome is that?!?

Here are the activities and ideas we have put in our own family's jar thus far (we'll likely add a few more as we think of them this week).  I'm just listing as I pull these out at random from our jar:

1.  Jump rope.
2.  Do some summer "school" work.  (We have a couple of summer bridge books for this.)
3.  Make a blanket fort.
4.  Make cards to tell why you love people in your family.
5.  Play Wii fit plus.
6.  Play with dolls or Barbies.
7.  Have an un-Birthday party.
8.  Hair salon time!
9.  Pillow pile:  collect all the pillows you can find and jump on them.
10.  Read a book out loud with mom or dad.
11.  Take a silly picture and e-mail it to dad at work.
12.  Go on a picnic.
13.  Duck, duck, goose.
14.  Take a bath.
15.  Learn to cook something new.
16.  Help clean up the living room.
17.   Read for 30 minutes.  (in there several times)
18.  Go to the park!
19.  Play cards.
20.  Write a letter.  (a couple of these in there)
21.  Paint rocks.
22.  Go on a treasure hunt.  (this obviously takes a little set-up time for momma)
23.  Plan a fancy dinner.
24.  Dust the piano.
25.  Have a talent show.
26.  Listen to an audio book.
27.  Help with dishes.
28.  Play with Legos.
29.  Have an indoor picnic.
30.  Play with stuffed animals.
31.  Make paper airplanes.
32.  Collect some leaves and do paper rubbings of them.
33.  Call grandma.
34.  Sing along time.
35.  Help mom clean out the car.
36.  Practice piano.
37.  Work on a puzzle.
38.  Make a doll hat.
39.  Make a time capsule with predictions for the future.
40.  Build a robot with cardboard boxes and paint.
41.  Have a no manners meal.
42.  Help mom clean out a closet.
43.  Nature walk.
44.  Play a memory game.
45.  Clean your room for half an hour.
46.  Make masks out of paper plates.
47.  Have everyone make 10 new ideas for the activity jar.
48.  Color some carnations using food coloring in the water.
49.  Help mom cook the next meal.
50.  Play a game of "hotter/colder."
51.  Read a book for 45 minutes.  (a few of these in there, too!)
52.  Color for 30 minutes.
53.  Read nursery rhymes.
54.  Write a story and illustrate it.  (a couple of these in there)
55.  Play cards.
56.  Manicure or pedicure?  Or both?
56.  Vacuum the upstairs.
57.  Practice setting the table.
58.  Take a walk.
59.  Bake some cookies.
60.  Make a cheerio necklace.
61.  Fill bird feeders and watch the birds.
62.  Dust the furniture.
63.  Make paper snowflakes.
64.  Create a chore chart for the whole family.
65.  Eat a popsicle.
66.  Go on a photo nature walk.
67.  Watch a movie!
68.  Learn how to sew.
69.  Make breakfast for dinner.
70.  Dance party!  (several of these in there)
71.  Make a tardis.  (We have a young Dr. Who fan in the house.)
72.  Make a snack.
73.  Play a game.
74.  Try a new recipe together.
75.  Make some bird treats.
76.  Mom picks!  (several of these in there)
77.  Make an indoor fort.
78.  Color with chalk outside.
79.  Play computer games.
80.  Make up a song.
81.  Ride scooter.
82.  Have a tea party!
83.  Go get ice cream!  Woo hoo!
84.  Make a trail through the house with a roll of toilet paper.
85.  Make paper bag puppets.
86.  Write in a journal.

Still a work in progress, but definitely something that we both had fun making.  And the dance party this morning was a blast!

(All photos by Christy Hardin Smith.)

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