Thursday, May 30, 2013

The I'm Bored Jar: Revised

This is a re-post of this, with some updated ideas for the list of things to put in the jar.  The Peanut and I added some new sticks for this summer -- thought folks would like an updated listing for their jars as well.  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.
87.  Research something interesting and give 5 facts about it during dinner.  (Ask mom for a topic if you are stuck.)
88.   Make a "just because" card for someone and mail it.
89.  Go for a walk and collect items for nature rubbings.
90.  Research 2 animals and have 5 facts about each to talk about at dinner.  (Ask mom for a topic if you are stuck.)
91.  Sort laundry into lights and darks.
92.  Go through old toys and games, and decide what you might like to donate.  Bag them up and take to a local charity.
93.  Do a good deed for someone.
94.  Help mom pull weeds in the garden and yard.
95.  Build a care package for a soldier serving overseas.  (
96.  Find out 5 facts about your favorite president.  Share them at dinner.
97.  Do one chore (mom's choice).  [NOTE:  Mom put in several of these.  Go figure.]
98.  Invent a new dance to your favorite song.
99.  Learn 10 new words in French.  (or pick a language)
100.  Read a book out loud with an adult for 20 minutes.
101.  Finish and illustrate a story.  Ask mom or dad to make up the first sentence.
102.  Create a diorama in a box using pictures cut from magazines and stuff you find around the house.
103.  Write down 5 things you love about everyone in our family.
104.  Draw a picture using your foot.
105.  Water the plants and the garden.
106.  Plan a movie night, with themed snacks or a meal and decorations.  Help mom cook.
107.  Clean and organize your room.
108.  Start an illustrated nature journal.
109.  Make bookmarks for your friends.
110.  Plan a family activity.
111.  Research a place in WV that you would like to visit.  Give 5 reasons we should plan a trip there.  Find it on a map.   [NOTE:  use your own state, or feel free to visit WV -- it is lovely here!]
112.  Put together a photo shoot for a stuffed animal.
113.  Learn a poem by heart and share it at dinner.
114.  Help mom organize something in the house.
115.  Do 25 jumping jacks and 10 push-ups.  (several of these)
116.  Learn to do laundry by helping mom with the next load.
117.  Learn to do the dishes by helping mom load/unload the dishwasher.
118.  Learn to cook by helping mom with the next meal.
119.  Practice your multiplication tables.
120.  Eat a vegetable.
121.  Eat a fruit.
122.  Draw a self-portrait.
123.  Draw something in the style of Vincent Van Gogh.
124.  Draw something in the style of Claude Monet.
125.  Draw something in the style of Pablo Picasso.
126.  Draw something in the style of Piet Mondrian.
127.  Draw something in the style of Andy Worhol.
128.  Draw something in the style of Leonardo Da Vinci.
129.  Draw something in the style of Michelangelo.
130.  Draw something in the style of Henri Matisse.
131.  Draw something in the style of Frida Kahlo.
132.  Design your own super hero.
133.  Make a pet rock.
134.  Learn to fold clothes by helping mom with the next load of laundry.
135.  Pick out a book on tape with mom.  Listen to the first 20 minutes of it.
136.  Find information about a constellation or star.  Share 5 facts about it at dinner.
137.  Make a bracelet.
138.  Make a nature book with pictures.
139.  Make an alphabet book with pictures.
140.  Pick an author that you like.  Find out 5 facts about the author to share at dinner.
141.  Pick an artist that you like.  Find 5 facts to share about the artist at dinner.
142.  Help mom make some muffins.
143.  Help refill the bird feeders.
144.  Write a poem.  (Ask mom or dad for topic if stuck.)
145.  Practice making change with mom or dad.
146.  Play freeze dance.
147.  Make a snack and eat it.
148.  Learn to play solitaire.
149.  Draw a new ______________.  Write a story about it.  (Ask mom or dad to fill in the blank.  Could be a planet, animal, alien, etc.)
150.  Do an "ABC" hunt in the house.  Make a list.

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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