Jar of Fun


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.

img_5159Shmootzy Alpha 4 by Nancie Rowe Janitz

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…


  1. Have a cupcake picnic
  2. Go on a walk
  3. Collect Bugs and find out what they are
  4. Bake brownies
  5. Have an un-birthday party
  6. Do each others makeup
  7. Paint rocks
  8. Read a book
  9. Put curlers in your hair
  10. Plant some seeds
  11. Write a letter and mail it
  12. Color pictures of the family
  13. Take silly photos and put in an album
  14. Do a photo scavenger hunt
  15. Make breakfast for dinner
  16. Dress each other up (with no complaints from the person being dressed)
  17. Make cards to tell each other why you love each other
  18. Paint each others toe-nails
  19. Bake cookies for someone and deliver them
  20. Try a new recipe together
  21. Make a time capsule (including predictions for the future)
  22. Cut sponges into shapes and make sponge paintings
  23. Make a silly video
  24. Make a count down calendar for something you are looking forward to
  25. Make play dough
  26. Take your meal and eat somewhere fun
  27. Make breakfast in bed — even if it is the middle of the afternoon
  28. Have a “Christmas whenever” party and make gifts for each other and open them up
  29. Make sock puppets
  30. Make macaroni necklaces
  31. Make a junk tree — collect trash and trinkets from around the house and glue them onto a paper cone and make a “tree.”
  32. Make old coins shiny again by mixing salt and vinegar
  33. Make musical glasses and try to play melodies
  34. Wash windows
  35. Create bath paints with shaving cream and food coloring — and then create masterpieces
  36. Make a rice box for indoor (or outdoor) sensory play
  37. Make your own confetti using colored paper and a hole puncher
  38. Write a story together and illustrate it
  39. Build and indoor fort with blankets and cushions
  40. Make jewelry using paper clips
  41. Practice setting the table
  42. Make your own Memory game and then play
  43. Make an indoor put-put course using newspaper rolled up for clubs and masking tape rolls for holes.
  44. Use a bathroom scale and weigh things around the house. Make a list of lightest to heaviest.
  45. Play a game of “hotter/colder” by hiding things around the house and having the kids try to find them
  46. Play red light/green light
  47. Build a robot with cardboard boxes and paint
  48. Create an indoor treasure hunt complete with a map
  49. Make fruit sate (kebabs) with sate sticks and whatever fruit you have in the house.
  50. Make popsicles with juice, fruit, and ice cube trays
  51. Have a taste-testing party — blindfold the kids and have them try various foods and see if they can guess what they are.
  52. Make a watermelon bowl with various fruits
  53. Make homemade peanut butter with shelled peanuts and a blender.
  54. Make sugar cookies and then decorate
  55. Have a no manners meal
  56. Make popcorn and watch a movie
  57. Make an obstacle course and then time yourselves
  58. Make (and play) hopscotch
  59. Make mud paintings
  60. Make a long and winding road for your Matchbox Cars using construction paper and markers
  61. Make mud pies and decorate with flowers, rocks, and grass
  62. Have a water fight and have everyone (including mom!) participate
  63. Plan a dream vacation together and look up airlines, hotels, and site seeing activities. Make a travel brochure for your trip.
  64. 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
  65. 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.
  66. Switch roles — parents act like the kids and the kid act like the parents.
  67. Make edible necklaces with food you have in the house.
  68. Find something blue — have the kids go and find all the blue (or any color) things they can.
  69. Display kids artwork on the wall using string and clothespins
  70. Make the alphabet out of play dough
  71. Create sculptures using toothpicks and raisins
  72. Teach kids North/South/East/West in your home and then hide toys and direct them using only directional commands
  73. Have the kids draw a map of the house and/or neighborhood
  74. Color flowers using food coloring and a carnation or daisy
  75. Make tambourines using paper plates and beans or pasta. Staple together and decorate.
  76. Create a chore chart for the whole family
  77. Create a pretend doctors office in your home and take turns being the doctor and the patient
  78. Tape two or more crayons together and make rainbow pictures
  79. Collect leaves and then do paper rubbings with crayons or pencils
  80. Trace your hands and then color and decorate them with “jewelry” and “nail polish.”
  81. Blindfold the kids and then have them draw pictures of certain things
  82. Finger paint using pudding
  83. Have a tea party and have everyone dress up
  84. Cut up photographs of each kid and make into puzzles
  85. Create a menu for the week letting everyone have a turn picking what to eat. Post the menu in the kitchen or dining room
  86. Create a pizza parlor at home and serve up homemade pizza
  87. 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.
  88. Make binoculars out of toilet paper rolls and string.
  89. Make a pasta picture with dried pasta and paint
  90. Create party hats and then come up with a reason to celebrate
  91. Make homemade napkins rings and use for dinner that night
  92. Make place mats for dinner
  93. Create a pancake parlor with pancakes and lots of toppings. Better yet, invite some friends to join you
  94. Make masks out of paper plates
  95. Change out all the photos in your picture frames with current favorites
  96. Rearrange the furniture in one of your rooms for a new and updated feel
  97. Make a bunch of birthday cards for people so that you have them ready for when the time comes
  98. Look online and create your dream room complete with paint colors, furniture, and decorations
  99. Create a “people we love” photo album
  100. Have everyone write out ten fun activities to add the the activity jar