23 Creative Ways to Use Mason Jars in the Classroom

Organize, decorate, educate … mason jars can do it all!

Mason Jars

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.

Mason Jars Storage Keeping It Simple

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.

Mason Jars Pencils I Love Labels

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.

Mason Jars Sewing Kit Momtastic

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.

Source: Momtastic

4. Encourage success with a marble jar.

Mason Jars Marbles Tried and True Teaching Tools

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.

Mason Jars Thistlewood Farms

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.

Mason Jars Terrarium HuffPost Life

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.

Mason Jars Box Tops A Pumpkin and a Princess

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.

Mason Jars Estimation Classroom Game Nook

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.

Mason Jars Aquarium DramaticParrot

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.

Mason Jars Organizer Eighteen 25

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.

Source: Eighteen25

11. Pack a quick snack.

Mason Jars Lunchables Smart School House

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.

Mason Jars 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.

Mason Jars Lights The Gold Jellybean

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.

Mason Jars Chores Tater Tots and Jello

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.

Mason Jars Seeds Teaching Mama

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.

Mason Jars Joy My Creative Inclusion

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.

Mason Jars Birdfeeder Little House Living

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.

Mason Jars Cloud Gift of Curiosity

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.

Mason Jars Diorama Bugs and Fishes

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.

Mason Jars Pumpkins Mason Jar Crafts Love

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.

Mason Jars Wreaths SadieSeasongoods

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.

Mason Jars Magnets 36th Avenue

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.

Mason Jars Snowman Womans Day

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. 

Posted by Jill Staake

Jill Staake is a writer living in Tampa, Florida. She's spent most of her life teaching in traditional classrooms and beyond, from 8th grade English to butterfly encounters, and believes learning is a life-long process.

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