I have a good friend who is convinced that she is not creative. Her three girls always want to do fun activities with her but she says she can never think of anything to do. Being a creative person, I have genuinely struggled to believe that a person just can’t think of something fun to do. And then I realized that we are all different, and some things just come easier to some than others. So, as I was trying to think of the perfect going away gift for my dear friend (who is moving to another part of the country), I decided to create a JAR OF FUN for her and her girls.
Inside are 100 simple and little-to-no-prep activities that they can do together. The idea is that each day, when they need something to do (they will be homeschooling so they will have lots of time to do stuff), one person can pick and activity out of the Jar. Then, everyone has to participate in the activity, no matter what it is. I also threw in some blanks — the person whose turn it is to draw that day gets to pick the activity if they draw a blank. It was a simple (and totally fun!) project to make and I hope that it provides them lots of fun memories together.
Here is what you do…
Make up a list of activities that are easy and require very little prep work (I will attach my list at the end, but know that it was geared towards having three little girls 🙂 )
Print out the list and cut into strips
Use a pencil or crochet needle to wrap up each piece of paper and then tape them closed (you wouldn’t want any peeking!)
Put all the papers in the Jar of Fun and decorate the jar!
Each day, one person pulls out an activity sheet. When the activity is completed, it moves to the WE DID IT jar. When all the activities are done, put all the papers back (and maybe add in some new ones) and start again.
If you are giving it as a gift, make sure you add in some instructions
The kids and I loved the jars so much that we had to make some of our own! Since I have two boys and two girls, we decided to go a little bit more gender neutral 🙂 I used two 14oz Prego spaghetti jars and they were the perfect size for a little over 100 activities (I started with huge mason jars and soon found out that 100 strips of paper don’t add up to much!)
I added an 8.5 x 3 inch strip of felt to each jar (with a criss-cross tied ribbon in back) and then printed the JAR of FUN and the WE did IT! labels onto paper. After gluing the labels on, I then covered the lids with felt and added the little button for the “O”. About an hour of work for a hundred days of fun. Not a bad trade off, huh? And just think of all the fun photos I will get the and cute scrapbook pages to follow. I really think I am on to something here…
- Have a cupcake picnic
- Go on a walk
- Collect Bugs and find out what they are
- Bake brownies
- Have an un-birthday party
- Do each others makeup
- Paint rocks
- Read a book
- Put curlers in your hair
- Plant some seeds
- Write a letter and mail it
- Color pictures of the family
- Take silly photos and put in an album
- Do a photo scavenger hunt
- Make breakfast for dinner
- Dress each other up (with no complaints from the person being dressed)
- Make cards to tell each other why you love each other
- Paint each others toe-nails
- Bake cookies for someone and deliver them
- Try a new recipe together
- Make a time capsule (including predictions for the future)
- Cut sponges into shapes and make sponge paintings
- Make a silly video
- Make a count down calendar for something you are looking forward to
- Make play dough
- Take your meal and eat somewhere fun
- Make breakfast in bed — even if it is the middle of the afternoon
- Have a “Christmas whenever” party and make gifts for each other and open them up
- Make sock puppets
- Make macaroni necklaces
- Make a junk tree — collect trash and trinkets from around the house and glue them onto a paper cone and make a “tree.”
- Make old coins shiny again by mixing salt and vinegar
- Make musical glasses and try to play melodies
- Wash windows
- Create bath paints with shaving cream and food coloring — and then create masterpieces
- Make a rice box for indoor (or outdoor) sensory play
- Make your own confetti using colored paper and a hole puncher
- Write a story together and illustrate it
- Build and indoor fort with blankets and cushions
- Make jewelry using paper clips
- Practice setting the table
- Make your own Memory game and then play
- Make an indoor put-put course using newspaper rolled up for clubs and masking tape rolls for holes.
- Use a bathroom scale and weigh things around the house. Make a list of lightest to heaviest.
- Play a game of “hotter/colder” by hiding things around the house and having the kids try to find them
- Play red light/green light
- Build a robot with cardboard boxes and paint
- Create an indoor treasure hunt complete with a map
- Make fruit sate (kebabs) with sate sticks and whatever fruit you have in the house.
- Make popsicles with juice, fruit, and ice cube trays
- Have a taste-testing party — blindfold the kids and have them try various foods and see if they can guess what they are.
- Make a watermelon bowl with various fruits
- Make homemade peanut butter with shelled peanuts and a blender.
- Make sugar cookies and then decorate
- Have a no manners meal
- Make popcorn and watch a movie
- Make an obstacle course and then time yourselves
- Make (and play) hopscotch
- Make mud paintings
- Make a long and winding road for your Matchbox Cars using construction paper and markers
- Make mud pies and decorate with flowers, rocks, and grass
- Have a water fight and have everyone (including mom!) participate
- Plan a dream vacation together and look up airlines, hotels, and site seeing activities. Make a travel brochure for your trip.
- Buy or print out a world map and mark on it all the places people in the family have been in one color and all the places people want to go in another
- Have a grocery store scavenger hunt. Make a list of items the kids have to find and have them check them off and write the price as they find them.
- Switch roles — parents act like the kids and the kid act like the parents.
- Make edible necklaces with food you have in the house.
- Find something blue — have the kids go and find all the blue (or any color) things they can.
- Display kids artwork on the wall using string and clothespins
- Make the alphabet out of play dough
- Create sculptures using toothpicks and raisins
- Teach kids North/South/East/West in your home and then hide toys and direct them using only directional commands
- Have the kids draw a map of the house and/or neighborhood
- Color flowers using food coloring and a carnation or daisy
- Make tambourines using paper plates and beans or pasta. Staple together and decorate.
- Create a chore chart for the whole family
- Create a pretend doctors office in your home and take turns being the doctor and the patient
- Tape two or more crayons together and make rainbow pictures
- Collect leaves and then do paper rubbings with crayons or pencils
- Trace your hands and then color and decorate them with “jewelry” and “nail polish.”
- Blindfold the kids and then have them draw pictures of certain things
- Finger paint using pudding
- Have a tea party and have everyone dress up
- Cut up photographs of each kid and make into puzzles
- Create a menu for the week letting everyone have a turn picking what to eat. Post the menu in the kitchen or dining room
- Create a pizza parlor at home and serve up homemade pizza
- Make play dough jewelry. Create beads, make holes with a toothpick, let try, and then coat with nail polish. Then thread into bracelets and necklaces.
- Make binoculars out of toilet paper rolls and string.
- Make a pasta picture with dried pasta and paint
- Create party hats and then come up with a reason to celebrate
- Make homemade napkins rings and use for dinner that night
- Make place mats for dinner
- Create a pancake parlor with pancakes and lots of toppings. Better yet, invite some friends to join you
- Make masks out of paper plates
- Change out all the photos in your picture frames with current favorites
- Rearrange the furniture in one of your rooms for a new and updated feel
- Make a bunch of birthday cards for people so that you have them ready for when the time comes
- Look online and create your dream room complete with paint colors, furniture, and decorations
- Create a “people we love” photo album
- Have everyone write out ten fun activities to add the the activity jar