The “I’m Bored” Jar

It’s summer and that means: no school. I know as a nanny I always had mixed emotions when it came to summer (just getting real). On one hand I was able to plan all sorts of fun excursions, playdates and activities with the kids… and on the other hand– not every single moment can be filled with nonstop over the top entertainment. Unfortunately, more often than not, the removal of entertainment usually leads straight to screen time. Don’t get me wrong– I am not totally against all screen time. However, in the summer months the screens can get out of control– and with the removal of screens usually comes the 2 words that press my buttons the most: “I’m bored.”

I am sure you are thinking “Oh, Nickey– you were a nanny. You must have such a high tolerance to whining children. False. I actually have pretty much no sympathy for boredom. Ha! So here is my go to when it comes to training the “I’m bored’s” out of my little friends and helping remind them of all the things there are to do at home: The “I’m Bored Jar”.


Here’s what you will need:

– A Jar (or cup of some sort)

– Paper or Popsicle Sticks

– Paint

– Alphabet Stickers

– Sharpies

Here’s what to do:

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1.) Use your paints to decorate one end (on both sides) or your crafting popsicle sticks. You can use a shallow glass to stand them up while they are drying– mine dried fairly quick.

(If you do not feel up to painting sticks, I have made this same project by just using folded up pieces of paper and a mason jars. :) )

2.) Using your fine point Sharpie, write an activity on the lower half of each stick. Keep in mind the age and gender of your child as not all activities will be suited to every kid the same. Also consider whether or not you would like to include activities that need adult supervision or that your child can do on their own. I made this one for my 5 year old niece-in-love. Here for a few examples of the actives I gave to her:

Ride your bike

Build with legos

Play dress up

Write a story

Color in coloring books

Paint a picture

Write a letter to Grandma

Play Barbies

Play with your stuffed animals

Clean your room

Make a fort

Read a book

Play a board game

3.) Have your child fish out a stick of their choosing (without reading it first). What ever stick they draw is the activity that they will do. (You can choose an allotted amount of time for each activity if you wish.)


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