How to Create Your Own Fun Jar

If you didn’t see my post over on Instagram about how my word of the year (I mean, I can’t call myself a blogger if I don’t jump on the “word of the year” bandwagon), I am focusing on having more fun this year. Like the fun that my hubby seems to be able to effortlessly have while I am consumed with orchestrating schedules and crossing things off my to-do list. So to help me stay on task (I am a rule follower, after all) I created this fun jar for my family and me. Do you want to have more fun this year? Here’s How to Create Your Own Fun Jar.

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To Prep Your Fun Jar

First off, you need a large, clear jar with a lid to serve as your Fun Jar. It should be something that fits into your home décor like this or this since you want it to be displayed in your home and easily accessible so that family fun is just a few steps away. Then you want to add a label for your jar, which kids can make themselves.

Next, you need at least five different colors of paper to write different activities on. Why so many? So you can sort them into seasonal and everyday activities.

For example:
Yellow—Everyday Activities

The amount of activities you put in your Fun Jar is entirely up to you, but my ratio rule of thumb is:

10% per season
60% everyday activities

That way you aren’t severely limited if you keep reaching for the Fun Jar in the Winter (because I mean—it lasts FOREVER in Chicago) and run out of accessible activities for those cold months.

Ideas for Your Fun Jar

Here’s where the fun begins! Just about any idea can go into your Fun Jar, but I tend to choose low cost or free activities so the price of activities doesn’t hold us back. I also estimate that I want the activity to last between 30 and 90 minutes, which keeps a nice variety of activity options within the jar.

It is very important to involve your entire family in pulling together ideas for the Fun Jar so that everyone takes ownership and the jar isn’t solely filled with things that YOU think are enjoyable.

I recommend starting out by making a massive list of ideas, and then organizing them into color coded papers to be placed into the Fun Jar. That way nothing gets in the way of your family’s brainstorming session.

Everyone gets writer’s block every once in a while, so use these ideas to inspire your family fun:


Everyday Activities

Create a stuffed animal “zoo” and make different “habitats” in different rooms of your home.

Play hot potato.

Have a hula-hoop contest.

Try a science experiment at home.

Create your own puzzles by cutting up and putting back together pictures or postcards.

Have a long jump contest.

Make sock puppets.

Put on a family concert and record it (only share to social media if everyone agrees to it).

Make your own play dough.

Design a family crest with meaningful symbols and images.

Have a paper airplane contest.

Paint with Legos.

Host an indoor picnic.

Build forts.

Throw a dance party with flashlights.


Winter Activities

Tye dye the snow with water and food coloring mixtures.

Make snow angels.

Have a snowball fight.

Go ice skating.

Make “indoor snow.” Recipe here.


Spring Activities

Plant an herb garden together.

Fly a kite.

Go on a nature scavenger hunt.

Enjoy a family bike ride.

Use moss, twigs, and rocks to create a terrarium.


Summer Activities

Head to the beach.

Catch fireflies.

Create an obstacle course outside.

Have a water balloon fight.

Put up a neighborhood lemonade stand.


Fall Activities

Carve pumpkins together.

Explore a new park.

Rake (and then jump into) leaf piles.

Play football.

Go on a hike.

And if you are looking for more fun either at home, in the city, or in the burbs, I’ve got you covered!


Here’s to a year of much more FUN!

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  1. Sheila Rhodes says

    Hello there! Over on Instagram, you might notice my blessing jar. For me, it is easy when I am under stress to forget about all the good things in life so we created a blessing jar and when something good happens we are throwing it in the jar to take one or more out on a rough day. I love Chi town! On a nice summer day I would head to the Bean for some fun and to Navy Pier 🙂

  2. Devon says

    This is a great idea. It would definitely help get my kid to stop asking to watch Paw Patrol if he could pick an activity from a fun jar instead!

  3. Christina says

    This is such a fun idea, my kids would love it! I grew up in Chicago and it made me a little homesick too. Sad fact, fireflies are not everywhere like I thought they were growing up in the city. Since I’ve left, it’s been rare seeing them anywhere else we’ve been!

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