Help Your Kids Play Independently with Bored Jars

Published by Deanna Yates on


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Do you have a child that struggles to play independently? Are they constantly saying they are bored, asking you what to do, or saying, “Mom, play with me?” If so, you are not alone. 

As an only child, my daughter has struggled to play independently her whole life and I know that I have not been helping the situation. Now that we are living in a new country, I have been more of a crutch for her since we struggle to find other English-speaking children to play with at times. 

But, the time has come to stop – I mean she is 5 years old for crying out loud and I know we have a problem. 

I have gone to the parenting experts, read the advice, and implemented a few new activities. The one we worked on yesterday was a big hit and she played by herself for a good portion of the afternoon. For the first time in a long time, I was able to work quietly for 2 straight hours in the afternoon (with small interruptions for changing activities). I felt like a new woman!

What is this miracle I speak of? It was an Activity Jar (also known as a Bored Jar). We made two jars filled with activities. One is labeled “what should we do next, mama?” and is focused on more fun, independent play activities. The other is the “I’m bored jar” and contains more chore like things. 

Want to create one of these miracles in your home? I have included some of my favorite jar ideas below and have created a printable of activities for you to include. You can easily print these out and have an activity jar/box/hat/whatever ready in less than 15 minutes. 

Here are some of my favorite Activity Jars from the blogging experts since mine was put together in a hurry and I do not have a printer to use the lovely printables I made. 

This Steam Activities Jar is one of my favorites. I love science and hope to ignite curiosity about the world in my daughter. Plus, isn’t the beaker adorable! 

Via Left Brain Craft Brain

I love how this jar uses popsicle sticks for the activities. Because they are so versatile and cheap, I have started keeping these sticks on hand. We’ve made Christmas ornaments, games, and more with them. 

Via Vicky Barone

Finally, this bail lid jar is adorable and would look really cute on display. I love the look of the colored paper and you could easily coordinate the paper to match with your room decor. Stylish, functional, and easy – perhaps a perfect DIY project. 

Don’t forget to get your own set of activities here. They are free and make it easy for you to set up your own activity jar in less than 15 minutes. 

And if you liked this, please share it on Pinterest so others can enjoy it too.


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Categories: Happy FamilyTime

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