Glass jars are quite possibly the most versatile recyclable ever. From the age old penny jar to a DIY industrial looking light fixture, there is no shortage of uses for them. Most people save their glass jars, but find that they pile up pretty quickly because aside from storing spare change, nails, screws etc. they don't know what to use them for. Keeping things simple, I put together a few very doable crafts for those glass jars that have been snickering at you for the last few months. Read on to see more...
A Marble Jar to Encourage Good Behavior
an appropriately sized jar (I have three kiddos so mine is enormous!)
stuff to decorate if you like
Here's how it works: Each time your children do something nice- help each other out, get a good report from the sitter, use manners, etc. reward them with a marble. Once the jar is full the kids earn a treat, the marble jar is emptied, and the game begins again!
- Keep the jar in plain sight as a visual reminder for the kids.
- When introducing this into your home, make it clear that "fishing for marbles" (doing something nice for the sole purpose of receiving a marble) is not allowed.
- Since you are only rewarding your kiddos for going above and beyond their typical good behavior, asking for marbles or suggesting they get one is also not allowed.
- To encourage super, amazing behavior out in public, try this one: for each stranger that stops you and tells you your children are so well behaved and that they get along so well they earn 2 marbles! Honestly when we're out in public the kids practically spit shine their halos in hopes a stranger may look their way!
- It's tempting, but try not to take away marbles. If the kids have done something terrible and you feel they deserve it, take just a few to get your point across. But empty that jar and watch their behavior turn ugly. All their hard work just went down the tubes and it's almost out of their reach to earn it back... they have nothing to lose by being monsters!
Not sure what the reward at the end should be? Try these:
- An overnight stay at a hotel (It could even be local, they don't care!)
- A sleepover party
- A night of "Kids Choose" - let them plan an entire night of fun!
- A day trip - zoo, whale watch, the islands, etc.
- Opposite Day- let the kids be the grown ups! (They get sick of it when they realize how useless you are when they want something!!!)
- Fashion Show- Let them put on a fashion show for family and friends. Be sure to play music and choose a "photographer" to really set the mood!
- SkyVenture! (Find the site closest to you!) Indoor skydiving for all ages! Seriously amazing!
Honestly, kids don't really care what the reward is, as long as you set it before hand and always follow through. As soon as the jar is full to the line you set, get the reward in motion!
A Milestone Jar
We all mean to keep track of baby's milestones, but for whatever reason, that baby book goes blank after just a few pages! Keeping a milestone jar may be your saving grace :) Jot down that milestone on whatever's handy... a scrap piece of paper, a napkin, a receipt, the ripped off corner of a bank statement, even a gum wrapper for goodness sake, and drop it right into the jar. When you have a few minutes to yourself (you know, when your baby is TEN?!) you can transfer everything over into the baby book! Hooray for complete baby books- you thought they didn't exist, huh?
It's also great for keeping those unsavory memories for a laugh later - "9/20/09 Sassy had a massive shit explosion while in the sling today. We were both COVERED in it! Good thing we were only at Jo-Ann's Fabric. nbd. Not even that humiliating. Sigh..." Which brings me to...
The Laugh Jar
(Nothing special, but pictured far left in the main image) Laughter is definitely the best medicine, so why not keep a jar of all the real gems your kids come up with?! Anytime you need a pick me up, reach in and have a chuckle. If you're like me and you LOVE damnyouautocorrect.com or outrageously hilarious people like @trolleycat on twitter, print out a few real good ones and stick them in a nice big jar. You can reach in and grab one after a crappy day at work, or invite a friend to one when they come over for coffee. Either way, good times.
Love Note Jar
This is a really sweet jar you can make for someone special- a partner, a child, a friend, anyone really! It can be really cutesy or sophisticated depending on who it's for. You can fill the jar with little sentiments- things that will make them smile (poems, memories you share, quotes, etc.) things that will make them laugh (silly jokes, movie quotes, drawings) and things that will make them think (sudoku puzzles, riddles, trivia questions, what if's, etc.) You can see how easily that could brighten a person's day and if you made this for your partner how much more connected you'd become!
There's a bazillion more possibilities, so keep saving those jars!