I had so much fun celebrating Earth day with my son's Pre-K class. Judson was so excited that I was coming to his class to speak which made this mama feel amazing so I wanted to do something fun and special for them. I decided to upcycle some mason jars and let them paint them with mod podge and food coloring in blue and green. I thought this would be fun and a way to give them something to use to hold knick knacks or in my little one's case, "this is perfect to hold my bubble gum!"
I have to admit it was a little messy and we were scrubbing down the tables after they finished but they had a blast. To do the below project you will need the following:
Food coloring (colors of your choice)
Containers to mix the ingredients
Pour three tablespoons of Mod Podge into the container. *Note* I highly recommend reusing an empty apple sauce or pudding container so you can rinse and throw in the recycle. When I tried it at home I used a plastic bowl that I eat out of and I was having the scrape down the glue with a knife. So, do not use something that you plan on eating out of! LOL
Once you have the mod podge in a container, place one or two drops of the food coloring of your choice and mix it up. Again, the first time I did it I overloaded the green so my glass turned out Kelly green versus Sea Glass green. If you want bright vivid colors then drop away. If you want to get a more Sea Glass look, limit it. I would also suggest getting the glitter mod podge if you are doing something more fancy!
Next, paint the mason jar or glass jar you are upcycling. Make sure you paint in the same direction to keep it smooth to try to avoid streaks. Don't get too much of the mixture on your brush or it will drip down the glass and it will show. If you are in a time pinch or if you are just extremely impatient then you can use a blow dryer to dry the jar and go ahead and put a second layer on. I used three layers on my personal jar and it was good but still somewhat see through.
I found another option I plan on trying next and I will have to update everyone once I do! Instead of painting the outside you mix the mod podge and color on the inside and swirl it around until you cover the entire inside of the jar. This also seemed like a very neat idea and it does not require brushes. For more ideas, go to Pinterest and search for Sea Glass Mason Jars.
Though Earth day was celebrated in April, I think it's important that each and every one of us protect our Earth year round. The jars were a fun way to reuse something and make it into a fun, personalized item the kiddos could use at home or ask their Mommy to use as a vase. We also talked about recycling water bottles and finding alternative water cups to use versus wasting so many plastic bottles every year. Each child went home with a reusable grocery bag, crayons, a sticker from Georgia College, and of course their new jars!
We ended our morning by reading the lifespan of a water bottle from the ocean, to the making of the bottle, the breakdown of the bottle and finally being turned into a sweatshirt after being recycled. They all thought it was so neat that the bottle was so many different things through the process and hopefully got a glimpse into the importance of not being wasteful.
I hope that each and every year my kids will ask me to come speak to their class and that I can come up with neat ways to introduce ways to recycle and upcycle and during the year I can continue to implement the things I tell them so they become a habit and not something they are forced to try to remember. They are already asking me before they throw something in the trash if it is recyclable and then sit it by the sink for me to take to the recycle bins.
So remember if you have kiddos, no matter how small, they can pick up on the habits you have, so give them those good habits like recycling, picking up after themselves, and giving back to others in need!
Have a great week friends!