Skip to Content

DIY “I’m Bored” Jar Tutorial to Keep Kids Self-Entertained

Thirty Ideas to put inside your own “I’m Bored” jar. Keep kids self-entertained this summer with some fun activities and a few “not so fun” chores.

Thirty Ideas to put inside your own "I'm Bored" jar. Keep kids self-entertained this summer with some fun activities and a few "not so fun" chores.

This past weekend was a long weekend.  A very long weekend.  They say that it’s toddlers that need to be entertained every minute, but really, it’s 8-year-olds.  Isabella was great at independent play when she was younger, but it seems the older she gets the more she wants me to be her social activities director.  Right now it’s mainly just the weekends that we have issues, but summer is right around the corner.  In anticipation of the many waking hours we are about to be spending together, I decided to head off her “Mom, I’m bored!” and “What can I do now?” by making this easy DIY Washi Tape I’m Bored Jar.


popsicle sticks, washi tape, and a label maker

What you need:

I used my Brother P-touch Home and Office Labeler (PT-D200) to print the activities and taped bright, colorful Washi Tape around the opposite end.

popsicle sticks with labels

I found that 30 sticks fit perfectly inside the Mason Jar, so I decided to split that up between 20 fun activities and 10 chore-like tasks.  I made sure that there were a few of each type for each color.  Isabella is definitely smart enough to not pick another pink one if it contained a chore the first time.  I think another key to the success of this jar is that there will need to be rules that you must complete the activity on the stick before drawing another one.  She is also the type that would pull one, decide she didn’t like that one, and try to put it back.  There will also be a time component to each activity- probably around 20 minutes.

Here’s the list of activities I included in our “I’m Bored” Jar:

  1. Write a story
  2. Draw a picture
  3. Write a letter
  4. Empty all trash cans
  5. Practice math
  6. Assemble a puzzle
  7. Make jewelry
  8. Draw with chalk
  9. Sweep the porch
  10. Play the Wii
  11. Watch a movie
  12. Pick up toys in the backyard
  13. Play balloon volleyball
  14. Blow bubbles
  15. Brush Emme (the dog)
  16. Brush Missy (the dog)
  17. Color in coloring books
  18. Swing outside
  19. Dust furniture
  20. Play with Play-Doh
  21. Play a computer game
  22. Dust baseboards
  23. Have a dance party
  24. Clean sinks
  25. Jump rope
  26. Service project
  27. Take a bubble bath
  28. Service project
  29. Nature photoshoot in backyard
  30. Read a book

(Read more about the service projects that I’m implementing with her and our weekly schedule here.)

mason jar full of popsicle sticks

I’m really hoping that this “I’m Bored” Jar will help solve some of our daily battles.  This way she is responsible for her own fate, without me having to tell her what to do or come up with suggestions… AND she won’t be telling me she’s bored every five minutes.  I’m determined to be more organized this summer, not only to save my own sanity and not have the usual summertime struggles, but to also be able to enjoy our time together and provide more opportunities to be a “yes” Mom.  Next up: a system for earning screen time.

What are your tips to combat the inevitable “I’m bored”?


Monday 13th of April 2015

Great idea! Sometimes I run out of ideas and it would be nice to have a jar full of them!

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!