“I’m bored.”  I can’t tell you how frequently I said that to my grandparents when they babysat my sister and me during our summer vacations.  It was usually remedied with crafts (involving enough glitter to coat the kitchen floor) or extensive playtime outside.  My sister and I used to dress up in lace curtains Grammy had purchased at a yard sale, specifically for that purpose.  And then we’d run around outside, barefoot, in our gorgeous ball gowns, until the dusk-to-dawn light came on and told us it was time to switch gears and go chase lightning bugs.

Good times, good times.

Now that I’m older (and spent most of last summer watching T and C), I’ve come to appreciate the patience my grandparents exhibited every time my sister and I said that we were bored.  And while T, C and I had a weekly schedule last summer, I still heard “I’m bored” on occasion.

Enter: The Bored Jar (which I first discovered via Pinterest).

Every time one of the boys says “I’m bored,” someone (not the person who made the statement) will choose a slip of paper from the jar (which is actually a bucket that contained care package goodies for finals week).  The reason the person who makes the statement will not pick the slip of paper is because the slips of paper are of varying size and will contain some things I know the boys will love (like going for ice cream) and some they won’t (like reading), and Alan and I want to reduce the risk of the boys marking papers that they like.  Because that’s what I would do.

The Bored Jar currently includes the following mind-blowingly awesome boredom busters:

Read a book for 30 minutes.
Write the alphabet in cursive 3 times.
Text Dad at work.
Swim for 1 hour.
Call a grandparent.
Watch TV for 30 minutes.
Ride bike for 1 hour.
Read a chapter from the Bible.
Research a word in the encyclopedia that begins with a letter in your name.  Explain it in your own words.
Try a new recipe.
Walk in the creek.
Play outside for 30 minutes.
Go for ice cream.
Write a letter to a friend or family member.
Create a game for children’s church.
Sweep the kitchen floor.
Vacuum the living room.
Wash the vehicles.
Take Shooter for a walk.
Play a Wii, PSP or DS game for 30 minutes.
Wash, dry and put away dirty dishes.

Have any suggestions?  Feel free to comment with some.  There are still a few weeks left before the boys finish school for the summer and we start putting The Bored Jar to the test.