Summer fun in a jar — make an “I’m bored” activity jar

How many times have you heard, “Mom, I’m bored!” this summer? Me? I’ve probably only heard it twice but that is because this Mama got smart and made an “I’m bored” activity jar prior to school getting out. Don’t worry, it’s not too late, there’s still plenty of time to capture the summer spirit and give the kids the chance to spontaneously plan their own day’s activities. Here’s how:

Start with a bucket, jar or Tubberware container of some sort that you don’t mind being decorated. We used one similar to this:


Anchor Hocking 1-Gallon Glass Jar, $13.99, at


Next I let the kids go to town decorating it with paints and paint pens (such as Decocolor pens). Call the jar whatever you like, we called ours “The bucket of summer fun” and my daughter adorned it with flowers, hearts, rainbows and sunshine. It will look something like this:

After we let the bucket dry, I asked the kids for some ideas of things they would like to do this summer. It could be an activity just to do around the house like a science experiment, dress-up and do a photo shoot, paint with watercolors, blow bubbles, pretend your at a drive-in movie, make a fort, make a sculpture out of marshmallows and toothpicks, etc. Or it could be a place to go in town, such as, go to the park for a picnic, go to a museum, go to the waterpark, go to the zoo, etc. Or it could be something to make together like make cookies and decorate them, try a new recipe, make homemade pizzas, make popsicles, etc. Whatever you and your family like to do, add to a list that you either type up on the computer or on paper that you can cut into strips and fold into the bucket.


After you print out all the activities, fold them into the jar and shake it really good. The idea is that each day the kids will choose one or two activities out of the jar that they can do. While some require a little planning, some can be spontaneous. Sometimes we pick them the night before so we know what is planned for the next day. It’s a great way to keep them busy and will definitely keep you from pulling your hair out all summer long!

What’s your favorite activity to put in the “Summer of Fun” jar?

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Christine Fox is Everyday Mama to two and a San Diego-based freelance writer and PR pro. She loves everything that has to do with shopping, baby gear and being the talk of the playgroup when she finds the perfect shirt and diaper bag. Her philosophy is simple: that being a mom does not mean that you should sacrifice style. You can be a mom and stylish! When she's not shopping or writing about shopping and baby gear, she can be found playing with her two kids at the park. For more mom finds, you can follow her on Twitter @EverydayMama and visit her own daily blog at

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