Keren’s Nursery “Busy Jar”
Filled to the brim with ideas for different activities designed to support parents and children. The aim is to encourage children to work independently, or as a family unit, using age-appropriate tasks.
These activities encourage a range of independent and family play. Some are pure fun designed to spark creativity. Others are practical, offering many learning opportunities. They may even be enlightening or a challenge for your children.
The concept is pretty straightforward. The notes are divided by colour and each colour has a theme, so the child can experience an energetic activity, a quiet activity, family activities or outdoor activities. We’ve included a full-colour PDF here should you wish to print these out.
What you’ll need:
- A jar
- Colourful note pages
- Extra sticky notes for on-the-spot ideas
Use the scissors to cut the small colourful pieces of paper and add the ideas to the jar. Pick whatever colour you want and have some fun!
- Green notes for physical and energetic tasks e.g. 10-minute dance party at home, build a pyramid from plastic cups.
- Yellow notes for a quiet home activity e.g. prepare a book of jokes, draw an imaginary animal, write a poem, draw a painting door entry sign.
- Blue notes for activities related to food and cuisine e.g. skewer fruit, wash dishes, help in preparing dinner.
- Pink notes for outdoor activities like drawing with crayons, cycling, jumping rope, playing hide and seek.
- Orange notes for a family activity like reading a book together, making a family picture together.
Green notes for physical/energetic tasks
|to rearrange or tidy the room||to build a tent out of blankets and other accessories||to try different postures of yoga||10 minutes dance party|
|to measure things around the house with a ruler and make a list||to build an obstacle course||to invent or learn a new dance||throw a recycled paper ball into a basket|
|count how many tiles your kitchen or bathroom has||roll a plastic bottle on its side, how many far will it go?||home exercises in front of the video||to stand on one leg for as long as you can|
|do a science experiment (with an adult)||to build a tower as high as possible using cups||arrange the books in the library||count how many jumps you can do on both feet, then just one foot|
|build an obstacle course for small balls or marbles||Dressing up in different costumes||throw and catch balls||run for 30 seconds|
|make a ‘train’ from cardboard boxes/recycling||bowling game||invent a new dart game||Hula hoop on the body / arm / leg|
|Make a show with things at home||“heads, shoulders, knees and toes” song||throwing small items into a laundry basket||10 sit-ups|
|sort things by colour||“commando” crawl on your tummy under the coffee table and around the room||Sort items by size||Jump on bubble wrap|
Yellow notes for a quiet at-home activity
|prepare paper aeroplanes||watch a movie||Make a drawing of a ‘ superhero||30 min TV|
|Playing with the pet||Make a bookmark||Write 5 things you like about your friend||Write about a dream that you would like to come true|
|write about an important experience that you had||write 5 things you like in your family||draw a map of the house and the rooms||To write thank you letters|
|to sing a song||to help fold/sort laundry||Complete a puzzle||make a drawing for Mummy/Daddy|
|Make a sign for your front door||Watch an origami video on YouTube and make a piece||write a letter or email to a relative||draw a painting according to a favourite book|
|Draw a treasure map||Draw a comic||learn a magic trick||draw a picture according to a favourite movie|
|choose an animal you’ve always wanted to know about–search google||Look for a country in the Globe or Atlas and read about it on Google||to make a colourful fan
|Print a colouring-in page of your choice|
|drawing of your favourite animal|
Blue notes for activities related to food and cuisine.
|Choose a recipe, buy the groceries and prepare it||make an omelette||make pancakes||bake challah|
|Washing dishes||Make cereal nests||Help cut vegetable salad||Help prepare dinner/lunch|
|Bake a cake||be a “waiter” in a restaurant||Lay the table for all the family||to make a home pizza|
|Have a picnic in the house||Make a smoothie/ice cream/lolly||to prepare a family dinner||Make a shopping list|
|Make Lemonade||Choose what we all eat for lunch or dinner||prepare fruit skewers or fruit salad||Spring clean|
|Spread crackers with a topping of choice||bake biscuits cutting them in different shapes||make sandwiches||prepare a dessert/snack|
|Research on a favourite fruit||Research about a favourite vegetable||Check the expiry dates on products in the cupboard||Weigh fruits and vegetables|
Pink notes for outdoor activities
|Hopscotch||ball game||Water games (water balloons/water guns)||paint with chalk|
|Jump in the rope||Football match||Help wash the car||Cycling
|Walk in the neighbourhood||Rollerblades||Riding a scooter||Any fun ball game|
|Go to the grocery shop||Plant||Water plants||Outdoors – count how many red cars there are|
|Search for nice flowers on your trip out||Bubbles||Jump in and out of a hula hoop||Collect stones and paint them|
|Collect branches||Have a picnic||Play hide and seek||Play catch/it|
|Bouncing a ball on foot/head||Playground||Pick dried leaves||Create an obstacle course|
|Invent sports activities with new rules||Art collage with found objects||Make a neighbourhood map|
Orange notes for family activities.
|To prepare a family tree||go for a walk||Go through albums and videos||Imitate animal sounds|
|To invent a new and family language||Enjoy reading a books and prepare a show together that everyone is participating in||Exchange roles in the family. Children to be parents and vice versa||Project a movie at home, and watch it all together|
|Play Chinese whispers||Prepare together new house rules||Exchange roles in the family. Kids to be parents and vice versa||Guessing sounds|
|Guessing games||Play old fashioned games such as having an egg and spoon race||“What’s the time Mr. wolf:||“If I had a power… which power would I choose to have?” why?|
|Each will tell a good thing that happened in the week and also something less good||Learn the Alphabet of a new language||Share a dream|