Boredom Buster Jars


Make a set of boredom buster jars with the free editable template. Keep kids busy by providing them with lots of summer vacation activities and spring break activity ideas. Use the printable to make custom activity sticks and container labels.

Do your kids ever say “I’m bored”?  A great way to help them stay busy and to stay away from screen time is to have some boredom buster jars on hand.  I like to have activity ideas ready to go…especially summer vacation activities and spring break activities.

Boredom Buster Jars with free printable template.

You can easily make a set of boredom buster jars by writing activities on a piece of paper, folding them up, and placing them in a jar.  You can step it up a notch by writing activity ideas on craft sticks so that kids can pull an activity out of the jar.  I love making crafty things and wanted our crafty sticks to look really cute, so I made some printable activity stick templates.  The printable craft sticks were so cute that I thought they deserved a jar with a cute label, so I also created an editable label.  The editable templates are available as a freebie in my TPT store.  I’ll show you how to get them in just a minute.


You will need the following supplies to make your set of jars:

  • large craft sticks
  • tall containers to hold the sticks (small buckets, cups, Crystal Light containers, small potato chip cans)
  • paper/printer
  • scissors
  • glue gun or double stick tape

Get the Boredom Busters Printable

After you get all your supplies lined up, you need to download the printable.  The document is listed as a freebie in my TPT store.  Click the link below to get it:

Boredom Buster Jars Free Printable

You will need to use Adobe Acrobat Reader to make sure that the editable portion of the document works correctly.  The document contains 4 colors of activity stick templates and 4 colors of label templates.  You will be able to add your own text to both the stick and label templates.   If you experience troubles while editing the document (if you don’t see the blue form fields or if the font doesn’t look like the pictured examples etc) check out this troubleshooting page.

Assemble Your Boredom Buster Jars

How to assemble your boredom buster jars.

After adding your text to the activity stick and label templates, print them, and cut them out.  Next, attach the labels to your containers with double-stick tape and attach the activity stick printable to the front of a craft stick with hot glue or double-stick tape.  Just be sure to use caution if you use hot glue.

Boredom buster jar sticks.

Using Boredom Buster Jars at Home

You can make one boredom buster jar or several.  I made a set of four jars for my kiddo.  I often make him pull sticks from several of the jars and complete the tasks or activities before he can earn any screen time.  He is more excited when he gets to choose a task or activity from a bunch of options.   Here are the jars that I made.

Help Jar:  The help jar contains chores that he is capable of doing.  If you need some help coming up with ideas, here are some age-appropriate chore ideas from Sunshine and Hurricanes.

Learn Jar:  I added all kinds of learning activities to this jar.  Ideas include reading to the dog, playing a math game, writing, practicing scissor skills, etc.

Explore Jar:  This is a bucket list jar.  These are the things that we want to see and do before the end of the summer.  Going to museums, zoos, playgrounds, hiking trips, special restaurants, etc.  These activities usually involve a little bit of planning.  We don’t use this jar every day and we pull the sticks out together.  Check out a travel book for a nearby city or look google family activities in your area to find activity ideas

Boredom Buster Jar sticks.

Bored Jar:  The bored jar contains a variety of fun activities.  Many of them are activities that my kiddo can do independently, but many games are listed as well.  Here is what we put in ours:

  • Create a fort
  • Make a city with blocks and cars
  • Get out the art box and make a creation
  • Sweep the sidewalk
  • Play Trouble
  • Go bird watching in the neighborhood
  • Make an arctic habitat
  • Play Spot It
  • Make up a dance routine
  • Make a Lego maze
  • Color
  • Hunt for four leaf clovers
  • Read a book to the dog
  • Complete a puzzle
  • Go on a neighborhood flower scavenger hunt
  • Create a painting on canvas
  • Play with Wikki Stix
  • Build a plastic cup tower
  • Use the tower for Nerf gun target practice
  • Play with sticky darts
  • Design/draw a dog house for the dog
  • Make a book
  • Make a map of the house
  • Use sidewalk chalk
  • Complete a count-around-the-house scavenger hunt
  • Create a scavenger hunt

Using Boredom Buster Jars at School

Don’t limit this to just home activities.  Here are a few ideas for using the activity sticks in your classroom.

Names Jars:  Add all of your kids’ names to the activity sticks and use them to randomly call on kids or use them to quickly divide kids into groups.  Make two sticks for every name and ask the kids to find the matching sets.

Word Sorting Jars:  Kids can sort words or names by beginning sound, rhyming words, word families, or words that contain a particular letter.

Song or Circle Time Activity Jars:  Add song titles or activity names to each stick.  Kids can pull a stick from the jar to select a circle time activity or song.

Brain Break Jars:  Add a brain break activity to each stick.

Early Finisher Jars:  If you teach older kids you can send them to the early finisher jar to select an activity to do when they have completed a task.

Boredom Buster jars with free printable template.

The cool thing about printable templates is that they can be completely customized to meet your needs.  You can create a jar for each of your children, you can create different categories.  Be as creative as possible.

I hope you enjoy making your own boredom buster jars.  I would love to hear how you use the templates.

To find additional ideas for your boredom buster jar, visit my Summer Activities and Boredom Busters for Kids Pinterest board
Follow Jen Hier @ Early Learning Ideas’s board Summer Activities and Boredom Busters for Kids on Pinterest.

Looking for additional hand-on activities for your kids?  Check out these resources in my store: