We've been mentally preparing for summer for at least a month now. I am extremely excited about the upcoming months. This is the first summer that I've been healthy enough to participate in playing with my kids like I want to. And they are both old enough that they can play and contribute and a new and fun way too. We've been preparing both a summer list (to be published later) and a bored jar list.
Of course I searched Pinterest and found these fun ideas:
Click the picture to get to the links. There are more on pinterest. I just searched "bored jar" (and "board jar" - seriously...) I liked things about each post, but of course needed to make it my own. I wanted it to be a project for the kids more than me. So I complied all of the lists I could find. Then I gave them to my 7 year old with a highlighter and she chose the ones she wanted to make the cut.
We also set some guide lines. The purpose of the bored jar is to entertain themselves. So that means, when mommy is busy and there isn't anyone available or willing to play. And you also have to be able to do each activity on your own, without needing help or materials we don't have. So there were a lot of them that we both agreed would be fun to do, but that didn't fit our criteria. Those things went on the Summer List.
I liked the idea of putting them on the sticks. And I liked using Avery's clear address labels. I was able to make them a little unique by using different, fun (free), download-able fonts from the Internet. I also wanted to keep track of what we had borrowed from Internet friends and what ideas we came up with on our own. So I color coded them.
We had 120 ideas to start with. We split up the sticks, got out the tempera paint and I let the girls go crazy.
O lasted about 3 minutes and then she resorted to just finger painting on the paper :)
But E likes to see the projects through and was THRILLED with the idea of the bored jar. So she stuck it out and finished painting about 110 sticks on her own! (But it kept her busy nearly all of the morning! Day 1 of boredom - BUSTED!)
We let them dry, and then I helped her stick all the labels to all the sticks. Originally we had planned to keep them in one of the large mason jars and swap them out with others to keep the idea newish.
But the jar only held like 20 some sticks and we didn't like the way it looked. Plus, having helped compile the list, she knew what she really hoped to draw! Instead, we decided just to use the pink flower pot I picked up at the dollar store.
We've had the "mommy-I'm-bored" flower pot in use for a week and a half. I've only heard those dreaded words once, and I immediately replied, I think you know what to do. She skipped off to pick out a new stick.
Some activities last a few minutes like, "stand on your head" and others can last as long as she is interested. Like one of my childhood favorites, "paint the cement with water".
*Side note - some of the labels have come unstuck from the side they were folded over on. So I just used a scissors to trim them off, and they've been fine ever since.
*Click on the images below to download the files via google docs. (Don't worry, they're available to everyone - with or without a google account.) Thanks for looking! Enjoy!