If your kids have ever said "I'm Bored"... I've got the perfect summer boredom buster ideas for you!

When I was a kid... we weren't allowed to swear, and we weren't allowed to say, "I'm Bored". Now that I am a mother, I totally understand why these rules existed. When my children are looking for something to do, I usually just kick them outside and tell them to find their own adventure... but on occasion (especially on rainy days when I am trying to limit screen use), I like to have a few suggestions up my sleeve. Today, I am sharing a simple idea that is guaranteed to help... an "I'm Bored Jar". I'm sharing the free printable jar label too!

Basically, I picked up an inexpensive jar from the dollar store, added a label, and filled the jar with slips of paper containing ideas for simple activities. Cute, right?

The ideas in the jar should be inexpensive and simple. For example:

  • Have a picnic
  • Read a book outside
  • Have a water fight
  • Go for a walk
  • Watch a movie
  • Build a fort
  • Get ice cream
  • Play something with a ball
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Bake something
  • Make a craft
  • Do a science experiment
  • Play a board game
  • Try a new food
  • Build a puzzle
  • Have a dance party
  • Go on a scavenger hunt
  • Play tag
  • Write a letter

You can make your own label for the jar or you can use mine. 

To download the label I designed: click on the picture below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4x6 photo.

Don't you love when a simple idea works well and makes your life easier?

This is a wonderful idea any time of year, but it's especially great for summer. What activities will you put in your jar?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

A Birthday Letter to my Youngest Son... on his 10th birthday

Every year, I take some to write my boys letters on their birthdays. The annual letters are my way of remembering exactly what they are like at each stage of their lives. I hope someday they look back at their letters and see how special they were and how much I loved every year I got to spend with them. Today, my youngest son turns 10... and here is his letter.

My dearest "baby" boy,

I can't believe you are in double digits. It seems like only yesterday we dropped your older brothers off at school and spent our days having adventures together. I loved the hours we spent reading stories and playing with your farm when you were little, but I am having a lot of fun with you now too. Here are some of the reasons I love you to the moon and back:

  • You were a boy who started elementary full of shyness and anxiety, and this coming September you are headed to Junior High School with a new found confidence. I am so proud of how far you have come.
  • You have lots of friends, but your brothers and cousins have a special place in your heart.
  • I'm still in awe of your unique way of quietly observing the world. You always ask the best questions.
  • You are super-funny. We especially love when you put on your housecoat, hang your medals around your neck, and rap.
  • You love all things sports... especially hockey, softball, basketball, and golf. You also love to ride your bike.
  • Your favourite food is multi grain wheat thin crackers. I buy you one box a week, and you usually eat them in one sitting.
  • Green is your favourite colour, you love when I read you stories (in a soft voice) at bedtime, and you look forward to our Friday night family movie nights.
  • You love sleep. You often ask to go to bed when you are tired... which is good because you get pretty cranky when you are overtired.
  • You give the best cuddles (and I have my fingers crossed that you let me tuck you in and read you stories for many years to come).
Even though you are in double digits now, you will always be my baby boy. Happy 10th birthday, sweet boy!



An Easy Way to Brighten Up the Interior of Your Home... without spending a lot money

I am all about decorating on a budget, and I love when I can update a space without spending much money. Recently, my husband and I decided to paint the interior of our front door a light blue colour, and it really transformed the space. Today, I am sharing the details of our little DIY decor project... along with the before and after pictures. Take a look and let me know what you think!

Originally, the interior of our front door was white, so on a sunny (not too hot) afternoon, my husband removed the hardware from our front door, I hit the paint store, and we got to work.

The keys to painting a door like this are: 

  • use a quality paint
  • use a combination of a brush (for the inset parts of the door) a foam roller (for a smooth finish)

Here is how the door turned out. We added an inexpensive navy mat from Walmart (that cost $20.97), and homemade twine monogram. What do you think?

I love paint projects because you can take chances with colour (knowing that it can easily be changed). I'm loving how much it brightens up the space, don't you?

The door looks great on it's own, but I'm enjoying the addition of the monogram I made. You can find the full tutorial here.

Have you painted any interior doors in your home? This was my first one... but I'm pretty sure it isn't going to be my last!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

You can find more easy and inexpensive home decor inspiration here.

Deck Dice DIY... using dollar store supplies

Keeping kids entertained (and away from screens) can be a challenge. My boys are pretty active, but there are still times I struggle to get them outside on summer days. Recently, I was at the dollar store, and I found some inexpensive oversized foam dice... and DECK DICE was born.

I purchased five foam dice and a large bucket (to hold them) at the dollar store, and I designed a label for the front of the bucket.

To download the label I designed: click on the photo below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4x6 photo.

Then, I created some 8x10 sheets, and I laminated them so that they can be used multiple times with dry erase markers. Pretty clever, right?

To download the score sheets I designed: click on the photo below, right-click, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 8x10 photo.

I'm looking forward to playing this game on the deck with my boys this summer. It might make a few trips to the beach or park too!

Do you like playing games with your kids outside during their summer break from school? I recommend a trip to the dollar store to pick up some of these foam dice. It's easy and inexpensive to put this game together, and it's lots of fun!

Gina Bell
 (aka East Coast Mommy)

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