Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Fun! Create an "Art Jar"

If you're looking for a quick project that will pay dividends on the next rainy day, think about creating an "art jar." We took a few minutes today to put together some crafty items, and my son spent over an hour exploring and experimenting with the materials inside.

I assembled a few items that were purchased inexpensively at back-to-school sales and Target's dollar section. I know that Michael's and other craft stores are great places to find inexpensive, small bags of crafty items. Or, you may find some great materials already around your house. Be creative (and your kids will, too!)

Here's what we used:

The total cost of these items was about five dollars. The jar was purchased for 10 cents at a garage sale. The scraps of colored paper were from extra envelopes I cut apart.

I tried to snap a quick picture, but he was already reaching for the jar!

Here's our art jar without an excited hand in front!

And here's his first creation. He went for a piece of paper to add to the kit, and created a caterpillar - entirely without direction. I'm hoping that as he continues to experiment with the materials he'll think about creative ways to use the items inside, and maybe will suggest other things he needs. I plan to change the materials periodically, to keep the contents exciting.

There are lots of things that would be great for a school-ager's art jar. (Preschoolers may need different materials that are safe for their use.) Think about adding some of the following to your jar:

colorful feathers
craft (popsicle) sticks
pieces of curling ribbon or yarn
stickers (circle labels can be fun)
foam shapes
natural (found) items like leaves, small sticks, acorns, etc. These could even be in their own jar - a Nature Art Jar!

If you plan to create an art jar, just remember to use craft materials that are safe for your child's age and experience. Be sure to stay nearby to provide guidance for safe use of the materials, but allow your children to explore and create without too much direction. Children are often given the chance to create crafts, with an expected outcome in mind, but need time to experiment and express themselves freely with art materials, too.

Are there any items that your children especially love creating with that we can add to our jar?


  1. What a great idea! I love how it sparks creativity :)

  2. look at that smile! Love it!! This is a fantastic idea and a great way for him to know everything should go back into the jar when he's done creating. Thanks for participating in Monday's Muse!


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