Budgeting & Thrifty Parenting

Creating a Family Adventures Jar

I don’t know about you, but my kids have got a lot of ‘stuff’. More ‘stuff’ than they know what to do with, and more ‘stuff’ than even sees the light of day. Which is why this year for Christmas, I’ll be creating a Family Adventures Jar. It’s a present that will give them treats throughout the year, spreading the cost for me and the fun for them.

My two are at those ages where they have the big things, the bikes, iPods, scooters, games consoles and so on that they want. Then they are too young for wanting £100+ trainers, laptops, the latest mobile phones. So what do we get them?

Boo and Little Man both have their birthdays in the last few months of the year so they have recently had plenty of presents. They really don’t need more. My boy, as always, has come up with a few things that he wants. To be fair to little 6 year old him, even he has reined it in and only told me 4 things that he really wants. Boo has come up with 1 thing that she wants, which has cost me less than a tenner. She then wants ‘surprises’. She’s even written in her letter to Santa that this year from him, she’d like ‘a surprise’. She’s confident in the certainty that Santa’s magic knows her well enough to choose something that she’ll like.



Of course I have got them a few presents, as I do know what they would like and what they will be excited to open on Christmas morning. Lego, Playmobil, books, board games and the like always go down well here. And along with these gifts, they will have an alternative Christmas gift idea this year, their Family Adventures Jar….

What is a Family Adventures jar?

It’s a jar full of treats and experiences to enjoy throughout the next twelve months. You can pop twelve things in there so that they can pick a new one out to do each month, or it might be two dozen and they can pick as and when you want them to throughout the year. You might let them see all that’s in there, or you might keep them all as surprise picks each time. How it works is really up to you, just decide before giving it to them on Christmas Day as you know they’ll bombard you with loads of questions about it!

What sort of things should I put in my Family Adventures jar?

Just think about the sorts of things that your children really enjoy doing. To give you a few ideas, ours will include cinema trips, bowling, mini-golf, meals out, a hotel stay or two, rock climbing – just go for what you know your kids will love to do.

How can I make one?

So easily!

1. First and foremost, get yourself a pretty jar. You can get a lovely jar from Amazon here, or pop to the shops and places like Flying Tiger, Wilko, B&M and The Range usually have them in.

2. Plan your gift ideas by creating a list and then thinking through how many you’d like to include.

3. Then cut up a piece or two of A4 paper. If you have coloured paper go for that (red or green is perfect for that Christmas feel), but it really doesn’t matter. You can always decorate or colour in your paper to pretty it up and make it look a bit more special.

4. Write on each slip of paper the experience that it denotes, and tick them off from your list as you go along.

5. Fold up your slips of paper and pop them all into the jar, before sealing it with a lid.

6. Create a label for your jar, and this can be as simple or elaborate as you wish to make it.

And you’re done! Jar complete, just wrap it up as you would any other presents and wait until the big day.

I am really looking forward to seeing how my two react to this. I love the idea that we’ve put aside some of the money that we’d normally spend on toys that might never even get played with, to have family treats and fun all throughout next year. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

What do you think of this idea? Is it something you’ve tried or could it be something you do this year?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

6 Comments

  1. Katie November 30, 2018
    • Jocelyn November 30, 2018
  2. Jade @ Captured by Jade December 3, 2018
    • Jocelyn December 3, 2018
  3. Kim Carberry December 4, 2018
    • Jocelyn December 5, 2018

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