There are times when we break away from talking about food and natural body or cleaning products to focus on ideas for simplifying the home. Because there is more to life than just food, natural deodorant, and “cleaner” makeup. There’s also laundry, helping the kids get dressed in the morning, getting ourselves dressed in the morning, and the list could go on. So, from time to time, I share a few of the routines and systems that have helped our family simplify our lives.
Today, I’d like to share about a special jar we started using in our home over the summer. Friend, let me introduce you to our boredom-busting jar.
I originally learned about a boredom jar from Katie over at Wellness Mama. She blogged about this concept and how she was using it in her home, along with the activity ideas she added to her family’s jar. I loved the idea, but never felt the need to make a jar for my family, until this past summer.
With the kids out of school, and both Dustin and myself working from home, I knew there were going to be days when the kids were going to feel lost for ideas on what they could do around the house. Now, let me just pause right here and say…
I’m not against boredom. In fact, I think kids in our fast-paced, never-slow-down society could use some extra down time. The idea of a child feeling “bored” isn’t a bad thing. At the same time, there are times when a child may want to do something active, but just can’t think of any ideas, outside of the television or computer.
As a blogger, I keep a long list of potential blogpost ideas (recipes, DIY projects, tips, etc.) in my Notes App on my phone and computer. I turn to this list whenever I feel at a loss for blog ideas. The boredom-busting jar works in the same way as my Notes App. Whenever a child wants to participate in an activity, but can’t quite figure out what to do, the jar is full of child-appropriate, independent activity ideas.
Together, as a family, we created our very own boredom-busting activity jar by brainstorming potential activities (this took a lot of help from us, the parents), creating printable cards, and then cutting out the cards and placing them in a special jar. We also spent some time role-playing how to use the jar.
“Mom. Dad. I don’t know what to do.” Dustin said in his best five year-old voice. “Can I watch a movie?”
“Let’s take a look in the special jar for some other ideas.” I replied.
The kids eagerly watched as Dustin pulled a cardstock square from the special jar and read, “Draw a picture.”
The kids were eager to get started with using the jar. As time went on, the kids even started thinking of new ideas to add to the jar. At a certain point, the ideas inside the jar became so second nature to the kids, they didn’t need the jar as much. #score
As the school year approaches, the kids won’t be home during the day as much as they were during the summer, but that doesn’t mean I’m planning to retire the jar. Instead, I think the jar is going to come in handy in the afternoon or the on the weekends. The kids know the jar is sitting on the shelf, just waiting for them to choose a card, if they’re looking for something to do and need some extra help with ideas.
The Boredom-Busting Activity Jar (AKA: I'm Bored Ideas)
- 1 I'm Bored Ideas printed and cut out, or create your own ideas and cut them out
- 1 wide-mouth jar
- Read each activity idea from the "I'm Bored Ideas" printable with your child.
- Place the cards in a child-safe, child-accessible jar.
- When your child is bored and looking for something to do, encourage them to choose a card from the jar and act on the card.
- When your child has completed the card, return it to the jar.