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Boredom Busters for Kids: DIY JAR

No More “I’m Bored”

Before we get to the Boredom Busters for Kids, can I just SAY!? Oh my word, summertime is HARD

WHY is that SO!?

My kids are used to being “entertained” for hours on end.  (Of course, I use that term pretty loosely.  We love learning in this house, so 7 hours of school is a #win in my book.)

…but Mommy is not as fun as school.  Mommy does not have endless craft projects or recess time.  Mommy is nowhere near as exciting as tablemates and kindergarten friends.  Mommy is just mommy – only good for snuggles, snacks, and reminders to practice your piano.

Ugh.  My kids are so bored.

Even the folks over at Your Modern Family understand the Summer Boredom Blues.

Now, let me tell you something.  This boredom does not come from lack of trying on my part. 

I might not have the same resources as the school, but I have been putting my best foot forward.  Each morning, we have scheduled an adventure of some kind.  We have explored the town and gotten our wiggles out.  We have read dozens of books and played in the pool.  We have even made gummy bears and gone to Disney World!

So, when my kids come at me by mid-afternoon to say, “I’m bored”, my response isn’t always the sweetest.  You feel me!? 

Enter: The Boredom Buster Jar

Boredom Buster Jar for Kids

This idea came to me like a flash in the night – and, boom!  I ran with it: boredom busters for kids!

The premise is simple:

  • Get a bunch of popsicle sticks.
  • Write out one FREE activity on each stick.
  • Place the sticks in a container.

I think the best way to come at this is to include activities that are readily available at your home that your child always forgets.  Rack your brain for those bored jar ideas! For example, playing charades is probably the MOST fun a kid can have (am I right?).  My kids would never think of this game on their own, but if they pull the stick from the jar, they’ve got a great reminder of an awesome activity that truly costs NOTHING.

I also included some chores/clean-up activities on our sticks, so it’s a bit like Russian Roulette for my two. (Ha!) Do as you wish in your own home. 

Sticks for the boredom buster jar.
Some of our popsicle sticks heading into the boredom buster jar!

List of Boredom Busters for Kids:

  • Play piano
  • Read a book
  • Do a craft
  • Write a story
  • Color a picture
  • Draw a picture for Daddy’s office
  • Relax in your bedroom
  • Play with chalk
  • Build a fort
  • Pick out toys to donate
  • Make paper airplanes
  • Make a card for a friend
  • Paint rocks
  • Play tic-tac-toe
  • Q-tip Painting
  • Make a treasure hunt
  • Alphabet hunt
  • Do a puzzle
  • Play a board game
  • Play hide and seek
  • Play with bubbles
  • Make a bookmark
  • Play with play-doh
  • Fingerprint painting books
  • Mop the floors
  • Dance party
  • Play balloon volleyball
  • Color in coloring books
  • Make a bracelet
  • Play with kinetic sand
  • Play with slime
  • Play with stickers
  • Write a poem
  • Write a letter to a friend
  • Make edible necklaces
  • Play charades
  • Pull the weeds in the backyard
  • Play in the water table
  • Make a comic
  • Dot stickers
  • Dust with Blue Mitt
  • Clean your room
  • Create an obstacle course
  • Organize your books
  • Paint your nails

The Rules

I should also mention that we have a few rules with the Boredom Buster jar that must be followed:

  1. You may only pick 1 stick at a time.
  2. There is no peeking allowed.
  3. You must commit to the activity for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes is up, you can pick another stick or do whatever tech-free activity you’d like!
  5. When the stick is done, it goes into a second jar so it isn’t picked again until all of the sticks have had a chance.

…and that’s really it.  Easy peasy.  Boredom busting fun.

My oldest is a huge fan, my youngest doesn’t fully understand the concept.  But all in all, it has cut down our “I’m bored” statements a BUNCH – and, hey!, that was the goal!

What do you think? Would this work in your house? Any ideas I should add to the list of bored jar ideas?

Do you love a Happy House? You might also be interested in Menu Boards Make Meal Planning Simple.

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Boredom Buster Jar

About the Author

The Merry Kate

Katie Johansen is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with her M.A.Ed in Children’s Literature.  She spent 6 years as an elementary school teacher in South Florida before transitioning to stay-at-home #momlife.  Now, it’s all things PB&J – with an extra large cup of coffee on the side.

Boredom Busters for Kids: DIY JAR

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