The “I’m Bored” Jar: Downtime Fun for Kids!


We are all going to hear it multiple times this summer, in every long, drawn-out tone imaginable:

“Mooooooooom… I’m bored.”

No matter what we do to prepare, the reality is that people like us have enough lists in their lives. Especially, moms, we don’t need another piece of paper lying around on the table that we have to find at exactly the right moment.

I wanted something other than a piece of paper with a list of activities on it. Something better. There had to be something kids would find fun and look forward to using when they needed help thinking of a new activity. Pinterest came to my rescue super late one night when I stumbled across some kids’ crafts making animals out of popsicle sticks. It just clicked. Why not write the activities on popsicle sticks?

So, here’s my solution, the “I’m Bored” Jar for Downtime Fun for Kids!

I hope this helps you out not only this summer but throughout the year.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Paint and paintbrushes
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Jar (or another container to hold the popsicle sticks)
  • Permanent marker

Step 1: Grab your popsicle sticks.

Figure out how many activities you want or how many sticks will fit in your jar. Have the younger kids help by counting the sticks. We used 25. You might want to grab a few extra sticks in case you mess up writing on them because if you’re anything like me, this fun, family craft activity has to be perfect. No pressure. No one speak.

Step 2: Paint your popsicle sticks.

Have the kids help by grabbing their favorite colors. You could also try color coding by using a different color for different types of activities like indoor, outdoor, and others. FYI – don’t use light colors if you don’t want to have the wood grain showing through the paint. I mean, it’s supposed to be fun, but you do want it to look perfect, don’t you?

Paint the stick for your "I'm Bored" Jar.

Step 3: While the paint is drying, brainstorm fun activities with the kids.

Think of activities they don’t normally do that they enjoy. You could even throw in a couple of special things, like a trip to the zoo.

Here are some ideas for your kids’ “I’m bored” jar:

  • Color and fold paper airplanes
  • Go fishing
  • Build a fort out of cushions and blankets
  • Make your own board game
  • Play a board game
  • Do a scavenger hunt in a park
  • Create your own superhero identity and costume
  • Learn to play a card game
  • Write a short story
  • See how low you can go with limbo
  • Look for cool rocks
  • Go for a hike
  • Paint or draw outside
Write each activity on a stick for your I'm Bored Jar.

Step 4: Put it all together

Once the paint is dry, write the ideas on the painted popsicle sticks and put them in the jar. Feel free to put a label on the jar, or dress it up with some string or ribbon.

Have Fun!

Now, only time will tell when you get to use your jar for the first time! You can keep the ideas interesting by swapping out sticks every month or so (with or without telling the kiddos) or have seasonally themed sticks. You can spice things up by adding in a chore or two! Who says moms can’t have fun!?!

The completed I'm Bored Jar.

And my favorite thing about this DIY? It didn’t cost me anything because I already had all the supplies! When you make your own “I’m Bored” jar, be sure to share yours with us on Instagram and tag us, too!

So, what are you going to do the next time you hear your child say they are bored? Just head to your brand new “I’m Bored” jar and get started having fun!

Still looking for ideas? Check out the best toy to beat summer boredom!

And check out these summer rainy day activities by location!

Pin this post and be sure to follow Vermont Mom on Pinterest!

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