As a stay-at-home mom of a rambunctious almost-2-year-old boy, I am always on the lookout for fun ideas and things to do with him. Being a former early childhood educator, I am often making lesson plans, activities and games for us to play. It was my husband’s 29th birthday that gave rise to one of my favorite ideas as a daddy gift!
Being on a tight budget, my son and I were struggling with what HE could give his dad for a birthday present. We did the obligatory “paint Daddy a picture” and even composed a cute little video for him but we still wanted to do something else. I wanted to help my son give his father MORE for his birthday. It was then that this idea occurred to me.
My husband loves spending time with Stryder, but he will sometimes tell me how he can’t wait for him to be older so they can do more exciting things. Well, enter the Daddy & Me Jar of Fun!
Using an old pickle jar, some popsicle sticks, a label stuck on with mod-podge, and fine-tip permanent markers, Stryder and I were able to make a wonderful gift for his Daddy’s birthday. On each popsicle stick I wrote a game, craft or activity the two of them could do together. They weren’t too involved and, because we are on a budget, generally didn’t involve spending much money.
As an early childhood educator my creative juices were flowing! I got so much excitement coming up with ideas that Stryder and Sean could do together. I wrote down activities like building forts, painting with shaving cream, making slime, and going on a treasure hunt.
When Stryder gave the gift to his dad, my husband was so excited to have a range of ideas and activities to do that would be fun and surprising for both of them!
While my original idea was for this to be a “Daddy & Me Jar Of Fun,” I quickly realized how fun this would be for just about anyone — including myself! Having a jar full of fun games and activities to do for a rainy day, those times you are completely out of ideas or for parents who are tired from working all day is simply brilliant! With the holidays coming up, this could even be a great idea for grandparents and cousins!
What makes it even more exciting is that Stryder just loves picking one of the popsicles sticks out and being surprised with what we will do! We also take it one step further and together we read what is written on the stick (hello, early literacy and beginning reading skills!). It should really be called the All For Fun and Fun For All jar!
So, go ahead — I encourage you to make your own! There are plenty of ideas on the internet, in books or even if you ask your child! In case you are drawing blanks on activity ideas, here are some that we used:
Fun For All Ideas:
- Make Ooblick (corn starch & water)
- Start a music band out of pots and pans and things around the house
- Make an ABC book together
- Make up a song together
- Create a movie together
- Draw a chalk dinosaur on the driveway
- Pretend to be cowboys
- Go on a bear hunt
- Find a Pinterest craft to make together
- Paint with cars
Be excited, genuine and – above all – have fun! Our children are only young for so long, so cherish and enjoy every moment you have with them. Feel free to share what your All For Fun & Fun For All jar looks like and how your children enjoy it! We would love to hear how it works with your family!