You never know when it’s going to hit you and the pre-school lazy days of July and August are a prime time for it. The eensy creeping whining…
“Mom. I’m bored.”
There is a house full of stuff and nothing to do.
Enter the Busy Jar. It’s simply a way of helping your child help themselves and stimulating their imagination. We all want kids who can keep themselves safely — and creatively — occupied, right?
The idea here is not to give your child a specific project or task to complete, but instead to spark their own ingenuity and give them some ownership of the activity. For example, rather then write “Bead a Necklace” the task reads: create a piece of jewelry to wear. Might seem like a subtle difference but the idea here is to foster their own imagination, not have them coming to mom for things to do all the time.
Our jar has two types of activities in it: ones the Bug could do on her own (perfect while I’m trying to get dinner on the table) and ones that involved adult interaction – er, supervision (perfect for spending one-on-one time together). Some of the activities included:
Build a Fort
Play an ABC/Letter Game
Do Something Kind
Create a New Piece of Jewelry to Wear
Plan a Family Adventure
Drop Everything And PLAYGROUND!
Send Someone a Letter
I could have gotten all fancy and created tags for each activity, printed and cut them out. Instead, I just wrote them with a permanent marker on a craft stick. The letters bleed a little bit, so write carefully. I’ve also seen jars done with the activities written on folded paper. Activities that she can manage on her own have a blue tie and ones that she needs to do with a caregiver have a red tie. Hopefully I won’t mix them up and have her nab a “red” stick while I’m trying to get something out on deadline one day!
This could be a fun way to mix-up vacation activities, create a family bucket list or even a holiday advent calendar. The possibilities are endless.
What activities would you include in your child’s busy jar?