Teachers are notorious pack rats, so chances are good that they’ve got at least a few empty mason jars socked away waiting for just the right project. Well, good news! We’ve got 23 just-right projects using mason jars that are perfect for the classroom, including science experiments, craft projects, and even a way to calm down kids feeling pretest stress. Read on to learn a few ways to use those mason jars right now. (Worried about using glass in your classroom? Many of these ideas will work just fine with plastic jars, too.)
1. Personalize an organizer.
Have the cutest desk organizer around when you paint mason jars to look like crayons, pencils, and markers. Get the full DIY at the link below.
Source: Keeping it Simple
2. Corral classroom pencils.
Eliminate the need for endless trips to the pencil sharpener. Set up a series of jars where kids can drop off dull pencils and pick up fresh ones instantly, then appoint a pencil monitor to do the sharpening all at once each day.
Source: I Love Labels (Don’t You?)
3. Prep a mini sewing kit.
Be prepared for wardrobe malfunctions with this adorable little sewing kit, complete with pincushion. (Wouldn’t these make the best gifts for your teacher pals, too?) Learn how at the link below.
4. Encourage success with a marble jar.
Reward good behavior, class collaboration, or meeting goals by dropping a marble in the jar. When the jar is full, let your class pick the type of reward they’d like. (Pizza parties are always popular!)
Source: Tried & True Teaching Tools
5. Freshen the air naturally.
Clear out the closed-window funk of mid-winter with these homemade air fresheners. Mix citrus fruits and herbs with water, then set the jar on a candle warmer to release the fragrance.
Source: Thistlewood Farms
6. Plant terrarium mason jars.
Explore soil layers and plant biology by building terrariums in mason jars. Each child can create their own or work in groups and then display them proudly on the classroom windowsill!
Source: Huffpost Life
7. Collect Box Tops for Education.
If your school participates in the Box Tops for Education program, make a pretty jar to collect them in your classroom. Hit the link below for a DIY lesson.
Source: A Pumpkin and a Princess
8. Make estimation jars.
Estimating is a valuable tool, and you can use mason jars to teach it in a variety of ways. Give clues about the amount, place the same amount in different size jars, and have students graph the results. The possibilities are endless. Get more ideas at the link below.
Source: The Classroom Game Nook
9. Create an aquarium jar.
Little ones will be fascinated by an undersea world they can hold in their hands. Use simple supplies like sand, pebbles, artificial plants, and mini sea creature toys to build your own, following the DIY video at the link below.
Source: DramaticParrot via YouTube
10. Build a simple supply station.
It doesn’t get much easier than this: Glue together some mason jars to create a supply station that fits your needs. Looking for something more colorful? Use school glue and food coloring to tint the jars first.
11. Pack a quick snack.
We love this quick and easy way to pack a midmorning snack. An empty applesauce cup is just the right size to fit the top of a mini mason jar. See more at the link below.
Source: Smart School House
12. Craft mesmerizing calm-down jars.
Calm-down jars are popular in schools, especially around testing time each spring, since they offer an easy way to encourage mindfulness. These cool jars also teach a little science because they contain liquids of different densities. Learn how to make them.
13. Light up the dark.
Here’s another calming way to use mason jars: Break up glow sticks and empty the contents into jars. Dim the lights and let the pretty colors soothe and entrance your class.
Source: The Gold Jellybean
14. Whip up a chore chart.
There are so many ways you can use an interactive board like this in your classroom. Take attendance, track group work, assign chores, or monitor jobs. And that’s just a start. Learn how to build one at the link below.
Source: Tatertots & Jello
15. Grow and observe seeds.
When you grow seeds in mason jars, you can watch the germination activity both above and below the surface. All you need is jars, seeds, paper towels, water, and a nice sunny windowsill.
Source: Teaching Mama
16. Start a joy jar.
This is a great way to start recognizing the moments of joy (big and little) that happen every day. Throughout the term, have students write down joyful moments and deposit them in the jar. At the end of the semester, read or post all those notes to remind everyone of the positive moments you’ve experienced together.
Source: My Creative Inclusion
17. Feed the birds.
If your classroom has a window, make this simple bird feeder to hang outside. You can teach your class about the birds that visit or just enjoy watching the birds eat.
Source: Little House Living
18. Generate a cloud in a jar.
If your class is learning about meteorology, you can wow them when you create clouds in mason jars! Learn two ways to perform this simple experiment at the link below.
Source: Gift of Curiosity
19. Fashion a diorama.
Create a miniature scene in a mason jar and customize it for the season. Add falling leaves in autumn, make snowy scenes in winter, or fill it with flowers in spring.
Source: Bugs and Fishes
20. Decorate for Halloween.
Add some fall spirit to your classroom by turning mason jars into jack-o’-lanterns! With flickering, battery-operated tea lights inside, these decorations are safe and can be reused year after year.
Source: Mason Jar Crafts
21. Craft holiday wreaths.
For this craft, you’ll need the rings from the lids instead of the mason jar itself. Kids wrap the rings in a variety of materials and decorate them however they like. This idea isn’t limited to Christmas; make these wreaths in the spring and add flowers or in the fall with some leaves and acorns.
Source: Sadie Seasongoods
22. Design picture magnets.
Use the lids from mason jars to make picture magnets of your students. Hang them around the classroom or have kids dress them up and use them as take-home gifts! Learn how at the link below.
Source: The 36th Avenue
23. Build a snowman ornament.
Do you wanna build a snowman? You know you do! This is a fun craft that requires the rings of mason jars, and it’s great for older kids. If the sewing skills seem a bit beyond reach, use fabric markers instead and glue the buttons in place. Full DIY at the link below.
Source: Woman’s Day
Have any crafty ideas to share? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook
Plus, creative ways to use sticky notes in the classroom.