The basic idea is to decorate a jar (or have your kids decorate the jar as mine did in our original Summer Jar idea) and fill the jar with slips of paper that inspire your kids.

Make up your own ideas based on your kids likes and interests and also your budget.  Make up ideas based on whether YOU want to be involved, too.  If you want your kids to be more self sufficient create ideas that they can do on their own.  If your children are smaller you will probably want to include simple projects that you will work on together.

NOTE: I decorated a cardboard box to hold the printables (rolled with an elastic and numbered to match the idea in the jar) and re-sealable bags with instructions etc.

Step 1: Find a jar to use (decorate)

Step 2: Decide on activities you want to include and write them on slips of paper (or use my printables below)

step 3: Write out a shopping list of what ingredients/ materials you need, buy them or find them in your house, and set them aside. I like to print out pictures of samples and instructions to use on the day each activity is pulled.

Summer Jar

​​The Basic Concept...

​Suggested Ideas...

​​Basic Steps for Parental Set up...

Here is my first Summer Jar Printable from 2011.  It is very basic but might be a good stepping stone if you want some simple ideas:  2011 Summer Jar Ideas

My updated Summer Jar Printable for 2013 had 47 ideas!!!!  I went a little nuts that year but was so inspired I just couldn’t stop.  I hope this printable will allow you to write your own ideas to inspire your kids: 2013 Summer Jar Ideas

For Summer 2014 I included 35 ideas.  Some of the ideas are ones we never got to the previous year, some are ones I knew they’d want to do again, and some are brand new: 2014 Summer Jar Ideas

Our Summer 2015 Jar has only 30 ideas but they are fun ones: 2015 Summer Jar Printable

Summer Jar 2016 has 30 more ideas (I think only a couple are repeats) and a lot are geared toward my Youngest son who loves to make crafts: 2016 Summer Jar Printable 


Summer Jar 2017...32 more ideas for summer fun coming your way! 2017 Summer Jar Printable


NEW FOR SUMMER 2018: 26 more ideas: 2018 Summer Jar Printable


NOTE: Some of my ideas need expansion so I will give more details below, plus links where needed on the Summer Jar Suggestions Page. You can find that link below.

summer boredom busters

a decorated box to hold printables and other materials

Click below

for more details and ideas when making your own summer Jar! 

Our original Summer Theme Day had a Summer Jar listed under “For Fun” and it was very basic. The printable I offered there had a mere 14 ideas on it.  For the summer of 2013 I updated the Summer Jar and made it into something MUCH BIGGER and for 2014, 2015 and 2016 I added a new lists! I hope these ideas help bust boredom during summer vacation and that they encourage creativity, physical activity and plain old fun!

I post photos of the new Summer Jar activities on Facebook and Instagram so check there to see how this project has worked out for our family!