A jar of fun

This summer will be the first year that I'll have a nursery aged child who will officially be on school holidays. My thoughts are already turning towards how we're going to spend our days over the holidays and I'm hoping this simple 'jar of fun' will give us lots of ideas.

Last year Wilf was in nursery one day a week throughout the summer, whereas this year he goes to a local Welsh nursery three afternoons and will be finishing for the Summer before going to 'big school nursery' in September. He's a busy little chap (what 3 year old isn't?!) and needs a lot of supervised play and attention, he's certainly not one for playing quietly on his own.

So I thought I'd start to plan ahead and fill a jar with different ideas of things to do together. We're also having a 'staycation' early next month and I thought this would help stop us getting tangled up with house and garden jobs which is so easily done!

I was given this jar for my birthday and knew I wanted to use it for this straight away. I've been inspired by other similar ideas and have been mulling over how to make one for our family for a while. The idea is simple, the jar will be filled with all sorts of fun things to do which we can randomly pick out when we're stuck for something to do or want a surprise adventure.

I'm all for spontaneity but thought I would use different coloured papers to help 'plan' our lucky dip fun. I picked these papers up in Tiger recently and thought they'd be perfect.

I decided to categorise the things we could do into the following:

- Whole days out

- Rainy days- let's be realistic!

- Local adventures- for a morning or afternoons out and when Daddy has the car

- Stay at home-  because sometimes it's just nice to be home

-All of us- for family days

- Mummy and...

-Daddy and...

I wanted to add the last two categories as we both value one on one time with both the children. So when Daddy picks out a card to do something with Wilf, I can have Mummy, Daughter time and vice versa.

My husband and his brother used to have one to one weekends away with their parents when they were younger (camping trips away and fun day trips) and it's something I'd love to carry on with our two.

I've filled in one or two cards for each of the categories with things I've been thinking of and wanting to do for some time.

I've also cut extra cards and pegged the category names so we can add more to the jar as and when we think of things to do.

I've put the jar on the bookshelf in our front room, where we keep all their toys and play, and then pegged up the cards next to it.

I don't imagine that we'll pick cards out everyday and there'll be a few weeks where we're hoping Wilf will go to a sports club, but it's there ready for when we want a lucky dip adventure!

We recently did a 6 week parent course, it certainly wasn't a 'tell-you-how-to-parent' course but more of a set of discussion based sessions to encourage and empower you as a parent. We found it invaluable and I'll be mulling over the 'top tips' for some time. The last session was about creating a sense of fun and belonging in a family. It was a good reminder about the importance of having fun and laughing together and creating traditions which give lifelong memories and strengthen family bonds.

I love family traditions and am so enjoying creating ones which are special and unique to us. I also love sharing ideas and adapting things that I've learnt from other friends and family or passed down from our own parents.

When I shared a picture of this jar on Instagram yesterday, a lovely mum commented on the photo and shared about their own memory jar. She commented that throughout the year they fill a jar with pieces of paper with memories of things they've done throughout the year. They're not allowed to read what they've each written until New Year's Eve when they read out all the memories together. I thought it was such a special idea and may just have to find another jar to fill with memories of the fun times we've had with this jar.

I'd love to know about the family traditions you have and whether you have any top tips for summertime fun.

Wishing you a wonderful and fun Sunday with whoever you are spending it with. X