How to Encourage Creativity and Independent Play with a Boredom Buster Jar

Mom/Dad, I’m bored! 

This dreaded phrase can mean constant interruptions, low productivity, and loss of sanity for parents. 

Understandably, parents do whatever they can to occupy their child while they get other things done. 

The fast, easy solution is to hand kids a tablet or smartphone. But in the long run, this move can cause even more issues like mood swings, inability to play independently, and more intense and frequent tantrums.

Even when we don’t have some urgent task to complete, we fall into this trap of never allowing our kids (or ourselves) to be bored. 

What’s the problem with that?

Well, we actually need time to zone out and be bored. Boredom is a powerful tool that stimulates imagination, creativity, and problem solving. 

bored boy window

Have you ever noticed how when you’re doing a brainless task like cleaning the dishes or folding laundry, you’re able to solve problems you were stuck on before?

Or think back to when you were a kid (before smartphones and tablets existed). Remember how you could come up with your own imaginative games to entertain yourself?

Kids today are less creative and less able to entertain themselves. Why? Because they’re getting too much stimulation and not enough boredom time.

So how can you allow room for boredom in your home? 

This is where the Boredom Buster Jar comes in handy!

Pirate girl and boy

Help your family deal with boredom without a screen by having everyone create their own ‘boredom buster jar.’ 

Follow the steps below to create your boredom buster jar and fill it with your favorite offline activities (aka boredom ‘breaker’ sticks). 

Create a jar for each member of the family so that you all have an easy place to go for your favorite off-screen activities. 

That’s right - this activity is not just meant for the kids! Seeing parents do the activity will strengthen the meaning for the kids. Plus, creating together is a wonderful bonding activity.

Get Your Supplies

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

  • tall containers to hold the sticks (small buckets, cups, jars, potato chip cans)
  • large craft sticks
  • paper/printer
  • scissors
  • glue gun or double stick tape
  • Markers, pens, colored pencils
  • Stickers (optional)

Follow These 3 Simple Steps - And Have Fun With It!

STEP 1

Grab all the supplies for the Jar and the sticks or disks to put in the jar.

STEP 2

Decorate the Jar in any style that you want.  It’s your boredom jar, so make it personal! 

STEP 3

Write down one boredom buster activity that you enjoy on each stick. Write out at least 10 sticks. Optional: Color one end of the stick for the category.

Here are a Few Inspirational Ideas from Pinterest

Glued Shape Cutout


Sticker Style


Character/Faces Design


What if your child picks an activity out of the jar and doesn’t want to do it? Give them the option to pick another or to tackle a household chore - it’s all about choice.

The Boredom Buster Jar can be your family’s key to unlocking creativity, independent play, and unplugged fun. 

Let us know what kind of B.B. Jars work best for your family!


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