The kids have been getting excited about their upcoming summer break. However, it always seems after the first few days, the newness has worn off and the “b” word starts to get thrown around. BORED.
A few weeks ago, I found my kids had made their own individual “bored” jars with bits of paper they’d thrown into random jars. After a brief discussion, we decided to make one master family bored jar. It was a fun project and I wanted to share how we did it.
After church, we stopped at the store where we bought a large box of craft sticks. Popsicle sticks could also work, but I liked how nice and wide the craft sticks were! They just had plain ones at our store, so we decided to paint them. However, you might be lucky and find the sticks in a variety of colors and then you could avoid this step.
My kids and I actually enjoyed painting all the sticks though! I covered my kitchen counter with butcher paper to keep things tidy. We decided to paint three different colors, to represent three different categories of items:
- Yellow: Free & I can do this on my own. Basically, if the kids choose a yellow stick they know they can easily do that activity on their own, for free, and without my help. Some of our yellow items including reading, playing with the dog, crafting, and doing math problems. (Yes, I swear my kids came up with these items!)
- Red: Free, but I’ll need mom or dad’s help with this one. While these items are largely free, they may require some planning or driving. Some of our red items include cooking with mom, inviting a friend over, or going to the library.
- Brown: Not free, and I’ll need mom or dad’s help with this one. We’ll reserve these for maybe once every week or so. Some of our brown items including going for frozen yogurt, spending a day in Seattle, or going to the zoo.
As you might have guessed, we have more yellow sticks than red or brown, but this is good and how I want it! Of course, you could always come up with your own categories. A friend of mine who did something similar made categories for indoor, art, travel, backyard, etc.
We used acrylic paint for the brown and yellow sticks and a small tube of red indoor/outdoor paint for the red. I have to say, the acrylic worked the best. Plus, it’s super cheap. You can get a huge bottle of it for about $1.25 at Hobby Lobby. As we did this project on a 90° day, the sticks dried in less than an hour.
After the craft sticks were dry, the kids grabbed some Sharpies and rewrote the ideas they’d come up with on them.
I found using a silver colored Sharpie on the darker brown colored craft sticks worked really well!
Next, time to find a jar! I realized pretty quickly that we’d need something with a fairly wide mouth to hold our 80+ sticks!
While it’s fun to buy a new jar, I decided to raid my pantry instead. I found this one (originally used to hold my homemade mulling spices). After all, this is a frugal living site, so I do want to encourage you to keep this craft as easy on the pocketbook as possible.
My kids love their new and improved “Bored Jar” and I’m hopeful it will see some use this summer.
Have you ever made anything similar? Any ideas for how to expand on this idea? I’d love to hear your thoughts – leave a comment below!
PS – Want another fun idea to kick off the summer?