1001 Tips for Military Families – Tip #440

Activities Jar – Tip #440

During any absence or deployment it is important to do things you enjoy, bring you together as a family, that make you feel good about yourself and remind you that there are things you can do other than waiting for time to pass you by.  If you are anything like me during an absence (or any time for that matter), thinking about what to have for dinner can be a stretch without having to come up with things that will do what I just said.  I came up with this idea as a way of including your family members, getting a good load of ideas in advance and keeping them organized – the activity jar.

You will need any household jar, puff paint, permanent markers, paper and large coloured popsicle sticks.  Make a list of all the things that you and your family members enjoy or have fun doing.  Sit together and talk about what they consider a fun day to be, what is their favourite thing to do, think about things you consider a treat and like to do for yourself too.

You can use any jar.  I used a Mason jar and decorated it with puff paint.  It is easy to do.  If your kids are old enough to help or young enough to enjoy doing it, have them make one with you for absences and deployments.

Then write all your brainstormed ideas onto the sticks.  I colour coded them to be: over one hour, under an hour, inexpensive or free, a little more costly.

This jar is designed to take some of the thinking out of having fun.  It is also to remind you that there is life beyond waiting and that you are still able to laugh and have a good time together even if you are going through an absence or deployment.

For more information about our tips, books and resources go to: http://www.whileyouwereaway.org

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