Category Archives: Kids

The Boredom Jar

The weather has been so nice here this spring! All winter long, I could not wait for the weather to get warmer so that we could get outside and play. Being cooped up in the house during the winter makes us all grumpy and it was such a mood booster when we were able to enjoy the sunshine. But the novelty of playing outside quickly dissipated for my kids, so I decided to create the Boredom Jar to alleviate that problem.

The Boredom Jar


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Initially, my kids could not get enough of the outdoors. They were having so much fun making up games, playing at the park, and riding bikes. However, as the weeks went on, I started to hear those infamous words, “Mommmmm, I’m boooored.” Even after suggesting a couple of activities that they could do, they were still BORED after only a few minutes and wanted to watch TV or play on the iPad. And that was not going to cut it. I needed to figure out a way to get them disconnected from electronics and doing something good for them.

Boredom Busters Ideas Chores

The Boredom Jar, as I call it, is a little vintage jar that contains tiny scrolls with an activity written on them. Each scroll is tied with some gold baker’s twine to keep the contents a secret until it is chosen. If my kids say they are bored, then they get to pick out one scroll from the Boredom Jar and they must do that activity.

The Boredom Jar Supplies

I didn’t want to reward the kids with some amazingly awesome trip to an amusement park or taking them for ice cream just because they were bored, so I created some printable pages with activities that they could do on their own, as well as some chores, with minimal help from mom and dad.

Jar of Ideas for Kids

When they pick something out of the Boredom Jar, they do not know what kind of activity they will be getting. Something fun? Yay! Or some kind of chore? Bummer. They know that they will be taking a chance, but hopefully, this will help in the long run teach them how to entertain themselves and come up with ideas of things to do without the need for electronics.

Activities for Summer Spring

Almost all of the activities listed are spring, summer, or fall appropriate, which means that we will be able to use these throughout most of the year. Obviously, some of them won’t be able to be used if there is inclement weather, so they will have to pick a new scroll.

Boredom Jar Printable Games and Chores

To make your own Boredom Jar, find a jar with a lid (this one is similar to mine) and click on the links below to download and print the Boredom Jar printable. Enjoy!

The Boredom Jar Printables – Page 1
The Boredom Jar Printables – Page 2

These printables are currently FREE for download for personal use only. However, this is subject to change in the future, so snag them at no cost while you still can! (View Terms of Use.)

Tiny Scrolls in a Glass Jar

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Did you happen to see my latest contributor post over at Domestically Speaking? If not, head on over and check out these fun Book Page Candle Holders!

Book Page Candle Holders

Brought To You By The Letter C

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in Nov. 2013.

Last week, while perusing the Land of Nod catalog, I found these super cool Magnificent Metal Letters. I love the industrial look and that they can even be used as a tiny little shelf.

Letter C 1

I started to think about how I could make something similar on my own and that’s when I remembered seeing Becca’s DIY Cardboard Letters on Pinterest. So, I figured I would take some tips from her tutorial, but leave the front of the letter off and tweak a few things to achieve the desired look.

This is what I started with:

Letter C 2

– Cereal box swiped from the recycling bin
– Scissors
– Pen
– Template of letter C

Using the template, I carefully traced around the edges onto the cereal box.

Then I cut it out and also trimmed off the sides of the cereal box. (Depending on the size of your letter, you may also need to cut out some strips from the back of the box as well.)

Letter C 3

I attached the sides of the box to the letter with plain ol’ scotch tape. Exciting, right? But it works to hold everything in place until the paper mache’-ing is done.

Letter C 4 Letter C 5

Next, I mixed up equal parts of water and flour and dipped torn up pieces of The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven into the concoction. (I only did one layer because I didn’t want my letter to become too thick.) Each strip was applied to the C in random directions, which helped it adhere better.

Sorry, I don’t have any photos of the process. It was super messy!

Letter C 6

Lastly, I slapped on a couple of coats of black paint and I was finished.

Letter C 7

Isn’t this cool??

Letter C 8

I would love to make a more letters, so I could spell out whatever is catching my fancy and then be able to change it up for the seasons or whatever. However, I think it will be quite some time until we have enough cereal boxes saved up to complete the alphabet.

Our Favorite Children’s Picture Books

There is just something so magical about books. The way they can take you on a journey you never imagined or help you learn or make you feel the feels is so amazingly awesome. And children’s books are where it all starts. I’m sure you can remember a beloved book from your childhood. Maybe you had your parents read it over and over. Today, I’m sharing some of our family’s favorite children’s picture books. You may have heard of a few of these before and others may be new to you. So, let’s get started!

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

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1. Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton
This sweet and short little board book, with it’s sing-songy wording, is the perfect quick bedtime story. You can see our copy is pretty banged up due to excessive use!

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

2. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Is there anything sweeter than a story about a parent’s unconditional love for their child? I remember my Mom reading this to me as a child with tears streaming down her face and now I read to my kids too (with tears streaming down my face).

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

3. Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French
This book is a bunch of fun with a cuddly wombat and her simple adventures. The illustrations are adorable and the story will surely leave you smiling.

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

4. Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Berger
We love this book so much! It tells the magical story of how Grandfather Twilight faithfully places the moon in the sky every evening. The images are soft/calming and this one is great for bedtime.

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

5. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
My personal favorite children’s book with lessons on love and what being “real” really is! This is a timeless story with a beautiful meaning and definitely one that stays with you through the years.

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

6. The Magic Rabbit by Annette LeBlanc Cate
This is an amazing story about a magician and his rabbit. A mishap separates the two best friends, but of course there is the perfect happy ending.

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

7. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
The Giving Tree is such a wonderful book. The story is about unconditional love and learning to give. I really like that this book can open up a discussion with kids about taking and giving.

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

8. There’s a Nightmare In My Closet by Mercer Mayer
My kids love scary things and I think that this book is partially responsible for that. Reading this to them at a young age helped them to overcome fears of monsters in their bedrooms at night and taught them that just because something seems scary, doesn’t always mean it is.

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

9. The Little Boy/Girl Who Lost His/Her Name
We purchased this book for my son for Christmas and it is awesome! It is a totally personalized book for your child. The character in the story goes on an adventure to find his/her name, meeting fun friends along the way. So cute! (Get 15% off of your first book by clicking here.)

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

So, those are some of our favorite children’s picture books. Some of them are classics and others just have that little something that makes them extra special to us!

Our Favorite Children's Picture Books

Are any of these your favorites too? Or do you have another favorite not listed that you would like to share? We are always on the hunt for new good books and would love any recommendations you may have!

Playroom Storage Makeover

I don’t think I’ve ever shared photos of our playroom before. It is a finished space in our basement that serves as a multi-purpose room (playroom/family room/office/guest room.) The major work horse in the playroom is a huge shelving unit (Expedit from Ikea) which holds all of our games and our son’s small toys in the black bins (Drona). For quite awhile, I’ve wanted to change things up. So, I decided to do a playroom storage makeover, focusing on what we currently have.

Playroom Storage Makeover

There are so many amazing storage solutions for toys available these days. I love these charcoal and ivory rugby bins from the Container store, but at almost $100 for 8 of them, it seemed that I could come up with something similar for our current black bins and save myself some dough.

Playroom Storage Expedit Before

I thought of several different ideas, from covering the bins in fabric to painting stripes, but I just couldn’t commit to any one idea. Then, while perusing Ikea’s website I found black and white stripe place mats (Ljuda) for 1.49 each and decided they would be perfect for the job.

Ljuda Black White Place Mat

After taking the measurements of the bins, I cut one of the place mats to size and used it as a template for the rest of the pieces.

Cutting Ljuda Place Mat

Then, I inserted the cut place mats under the fabric fold at the top of the bins and used hot glue to secure them to the fronts. Super easy.

Hot Glue Place Mat To Drona Box

I love how the stripes add some playfulness to the plain boxes and if for some reason we tire of the contrast, we can just flip the boxes around and they will look just like they used to.

Playroom Drona Storage Makeover

So, what do you think of this simple playroom storage makeover? Do you like all of the stripes or the simplicity of the plain black bins? I would love for you to leave a comment and let me know!

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