This is my kiddo’s last week of school and I’m frantically trying to finish up a bunch of projects before I become a full-time mommy again. I am also trying to come up with ways to keep him active, busy, and learning throughout the summer break. I’m hoping that this chore jar filled with activity sticks will help us out this summer.
Before my kiddo started going to school full-time, I think that I did a pretty good job of limiting his screen time. He rarely watched TV, never watched movies, and we didn’t have i-anything. I always had activities and learning games prepared for him and we had a blast listening to Laurie Berkner, Jim Gill, and Music Together CD’s (see…no i-anything). He also took NAPS…..ah….those were the days!
Somewhere along the line, however, I gave in. It was probably about the same time that he stopped taking naps. This momma needed a break and TV seemed to be the only way that I could get one. Today, my kiddo spends entirely too much time in front of a screen. I’m sure that we are going to do a lot of TV watching and i-pad playing this summer, but I am on a mission to make sure that my kiddo does more than sit in front of a screen. I’m going to call my mission Project Unplug and I would like to share some of my ideas, successes, and failures with you.
This week I am making summer activity jars, and my first is a chore jar. My kiddo is certainly old enough to help out around the house and I am going to try to get him to do some chores every day. This will give him a sense of responsibility and will help me out too.
How to Make a Chore Jar and Activity Sticks
I used jumbo craft sticks to make the chore sticks for our jar. I started out by making a list of chores that are appropriate for him. You can certainly simply write each chore on a stick with a sharpie, but I had to get crafty and create something with a higher cuteness factor.
I created printable templates that can be customized, cut out, and applied to the craft sticks. I currently have the template listed as a FREEBIE in my TPT store. Click here to get your copy of the free template. I typed each chore in the form fields on the template. I then printed the document, laminated it, and cut out each chore.
Using hot glue, I applied the chores to large wooden craft sticks. I created a label (included on the template document) and applied it to a glass jar with double sick tape (*update, a laminated label would not stay on the jar. I made a new label, did NOT laminate it, and it stuck). Then, I added the completed sticks to the jar.
My kiddo seemed excited when he saw parts of the project this morning. At this time my plan is to pull one or two sticks from the chore jar every day. I imagine that I will let him select the sticks on some days. On other days, I will need help with specific jobs so I will select the sticks on those days.. I will keep you posted on how this works out. Click here to see our exploration and boredom buster jars. To get some ideas for age-appropriate chores that you can add to your chore jar, here is a nice list from The Happy Housewife