Friday, July 26, 2013

The Jar

Summer is flying by in our house. I can hardly believe that school starts in about a month! How did that happen? While we've kept ourselves busy with vacations, trips to the pool, and camps, we have also run across the occasional spell of boredom. While I think it's good for kids to be a bit bored once in a while (it gets those creative juices flowin'!), our family has come up with a pretty simple and effective way to fight boredom on some of those lazy summer afternoons.

I give you ... The PALS Summer Jar of Fun.

I just came up with that oh-so-original title right now, so don't laugh at my naming prowess. The kids just refer to it as "the jar", but that sounded too bland and boring to me.

At the beginning of June we all sat down and thought of some fun, easy, and inexpensive things that we wanted to do over the course of the summer. The only real requirement was that the activity was simple enough to do spur of the moment (nothing that required much pre-planning) so that we could pull it out in the morning and be able to do the activity that day.

The kids LOVE the jar. Mostly I think they like the idea of picking something random to do and not knowing what they're going to get. Actually, this is the main point of the jar: Put in some fun things that we would probably do anyway but up the excitement level a little bit by adding the element of surprise.

The jar has really been a welcome addition this summer. The kiddos want to pull something out of it every day, but we try and restrain ourselves and just do a few a week. Some days we don't have time to do something in the jar, so we save it for a rainy afternoon or a day where we know we won't have camps or other things to do.

Here are a few examples of activities we threw into the jar:

Pick blueberries
Do a simple science experiment (baking soda + vinegar = hours of fun)
Go to a new park
Have a water balloon fight

Make ice cream
Play cards
Write a letter to grandparents
Find a fun Pinterest project to do and do it
Go on a picnic
Go on a nature walk

And many more!

Again, these are all things that we probably would have done anyway, it just makes it a lot more fun when it's a surprise! I think we'll continue the jar tradition next summer (and may even institue one for Christmastime as well) since it has been such a hit.

Does anyone else have any creative ways to get through the summer? We still have a month left and no one in this house is loosing steam just yet!

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