As summer and social distancing stretch on, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find ways for kids to spend their time. It can also be tricky to find a balance between active, healthy activities and screen or playtime. That’s where a bored jar comes in. A bored jar is a fun resource that kids can turn to when they run out of activity ideas. They’re a low-cost way to produce hours of entertainment for your kids, and the activities inside can blend traditional playtime activities with educational, healthy and productive tasks. 

A Bored Jar

All you need to get started on your bored jar is a mason jar, shoebox, coffee tin or anything else that can hold the activity ideas inside. Start by having your kids decorate the jar however they’d like, and consider attaching a label to the jar with your kid’s names on it for a personal touch. 

The Activities

Download printable label/activities HERE

Once you’ve created the jar, it’s time to fill it with fun activities that your kids will love. We’ve compiled a list of ideas for you to get started brainstorming: 

  1. 30 minutes of TV time
  2. Make a pillow fort
  3. Play dress up
  4. Have a picnic
  5. Call a relative
  6. Make a puppet show with dolls or socks
  7. 30 minutes of computer time
  8. Play a board game
  9. 1 hour of video games
  10. Have a thumb wrestling battle
  11. Pillow fight
  12. Play hide-and-seek
  13. Play tag
  14. Do a handstand
  15. Run outside for 15 minutes
  16. Have a crab walk race
  17. Climb a tree
  18. Have a dance party
  19. Ride your bike for 1 hour
  20. Make an obstacle course
  21. Play basketball
  22. Play soccer
  23. Play kickball
  24. Draw a picture
  25. Create your own board game
  26. Make paper airplanes
  27. Finger painting
  28. Make masks out of paper plates
  29. Draw your favorite animal
  30. Draw with your left hand
  31. Make a collage from magazines
  32. Do a puzzle
  33. Make a musical instrument
  34. Draw a comic book
  35. Make a scrapbook
  36. Create a time capsule
  37. Read for 1 hour
  38. Watch an educational movie
  39. Make slime
  40. Learn the alphabet backwards
  41. Recreate a classic art piece
  42. Go bird watching
  43. Write a short story
  44. Write a poem
  45. Draw a constellation
  46. Draw the solar system 
  47. Make our family tree
  48. Plant a seedling
  49. Learn the alphabet in a different language
  50. Count to 10 in a different language

Productive Activities 

Considering putting household chores and other productive activities into the jar. You can incentivize these activities by rewarding completed activities with treats or rewards. 

  1. Wash the car
  2. Sweep the kitchen
  3. Clean the windows
  4. Vacuum the floors
  5. Water the plants
  6. Clean the bathroom
  7. Clean your bedroom
  8. Pull weeds in the garden
  9. Organize the book shelf
  10. Set aside toys and clothes to donate
  11. Sweep the hallway
  12. Dust the surfaces in the living room
  13. Pick up trash in the yard
  14. Clean your closet
  15. Make your bed

Download a printable label and list of activities including blank spaces to come up with your own here

Printable Activities

There are many fun activities that can take your bored jar to the next level. We’ve included some fun printables to help you get started. 

Plant a Seedling

Download Printable Garden Labels and Growth Tracker HERE

Planting an herb or vegetable seed is a fun way to teach kids about science, patience and responsibility. Use the garden labels for a fun art project and to label your seeds, then use the printable growth trackers to keep track of your seed’s growth over the weeks. A few easy herbs and vegetables to grow are basil, beets and peas. 

Put on a Puppet Show

Download Printable Puppets HERE

A puppet show allows your kids to flex their creative muscles and provides entertainment for the whole family. Have your kids draw their own puppets or use printables ones and attach them to straws, sticks or popsicle sticks. Have your kids write a silly script for the show and perform it for the family! 

Make a Time Capsule

Download Printable Time Capsule HERE

A time capsule provides entertainment for now and later. All you need is a box or tin that can withstand being underground, some fun objects to place inside and a letter to write your future self about your current life. Decide on a time that your family will dig up the capsule then plant somewhere in your backyard. 

Get creative with your bored jar ideas and tailor them to your kid’s interests and hobbies. To keep it fresh, you can even replace some of the activities every few months so the bored jar remains entertaining and exciting.

A bored jar is a fun resource that kids can turn to when they run out of activity ideas. What are some of your favorite boredom resources?


Check out some more boredom busters HERE and HERE