Is it just me who magics out a dozen or so ‘jazzy jars’ for the school fair every year?
The first time we came across jazzy jars was when we attended our first school fair, a couple of months before Crevette joined our local school. He was immediately won over by the concept. Who doesn’t like buying a raffle ticket and winning a jar that is filled with treasures?
The one he won that year (I still remember it and it was 5 years ago!) was covered in bright stickers and filled with sweets, pirate coins, rings, marbles and bracelets. That is generally what you find in the coveted jars. I love those jars, I really do, but the amount of rubbish you get in them is pretty much the same as what you would in your average party bag, yuck!
Every year, I have tried to make our jazzy jars interesting and exciting, from craft-based ones using goodies bought in the pound shop, to jars filled with sweets (naughty, naught me!).
This year, I gave a bit more thought to our jars and decided to focus on ‘good’ snacks and spend a little bit more time looking for healthy snacks to make those jazzy jars bigger and better than I had ever done.
Here are a few tips that might help if you want to make nice, healthy jazzy jars for children to enjoy and also to cater for those you might have allergies or intolerances. They need not be jazzy jars for the school fair; you could choose to give them as presents when your children are invited to a play date, or as a present for an older sibling who has just had a baby brother or sister. They would also make a lovely treat for a ‘back to school’ present for your child’s teacher in September. Teachers deserve a treat now and then!
Tip 1: Upcycle Glass Jars
Whenever you are about to recycle a glass jar, ask yourself whether you could upcycle it and make use of it later. I never ever throw away a lidded glass jar, much to my husband’s despair. They make perfect containers for homemade presents (cake mix, homemade fudge or truffles, jam, homemade nut butters, containers for jelly and so on and so forth).
So, as I said, glass jars always come in handy. My favourites are the jam, honey and instant coffee jars my lovely father-in-law collects for me.
Soak the jars in hot, soapy water for 15 minutes before removing the labels. If you struggle to remove the glue from the label, use a butter knife to scrape it off. Wash your jars and lids thoroughly and then dry them. If traces of glue are left on the jars, use nail varnish remover on a cotton bud to dissolve it.
Put the jars away. You have done all the hard work for when you really need them.
Tip 2: Keep Scraps of Fabric
Whenever you are about to throw away or give fabric to the charity shop, think twice: will it work well on a jazzy jar? You need very little fabric (size of a dessert plate) to cover the lid of a jazzy jar. Free curtain samples are perfect as well. Keep ribbon as well, they will give a nice finish to your jars. I cut ribbons from the inside of T-shirts today!
Tip 4: Quality over Quantity
We sometimes tend to give the biggest, brightest thing we can afford, but I have come to realise I always cringe when my children are given huge plastic toys that will last 5 minutes. I would rather they were given a small wooden toy they will be able to pass on to their children. Don’t you?
The same applies to snacks. You could buy a ton of bright, sugar-laden sweets and fill the jars to your heart’s content, but how would you feel if you were giving children a jar packed with natural, healthy, filling treats they will love just as much?
Jazzy jar requests never come as a surprise. They are always a feature at school fetes, so I decided to be well-prepared this year. Rather than buying treats at the last minute for our jars, I bought a variety over the past month. Every time I was going to a supermarket or Boots, I would add an extra pack of snacks to my basket, just for the purpose of the jazzy jars and I made sure I hid them in a bag for that purpose in a cupboard so that they would not get devoured beforehand.
Tip 5: Go Healthy!
These days, more and more junk food packets claim to contain ‘one of your five a day.’ How, I have no idea, but it is our role as parents to guide our children and influence them towards healthier options rather than preservative, colourant and refined sugar-heavy treats. I believe in ‘everything in moderation’ so my children have sweets, crisps and popcorn, but not on a daily basis, and within reason. Offering snacks that are free from junk, artificial flavours, preservatives or refined sugar is important and will help them make wiser decisions when it comes to snacking when it is their turn to choose what they are eating.
Tip 6: Think of the Children Who Have Allergies or Intolerances
Whenever we have had a jazzy jar, Jumpy, who is allergic to wheat, eggs and nuts, has not been able to have the treats found in her jar. That is rather heart-breaking as all she wants is to fit in. Each of the jars I put together today has items suitable for children who might be Coeliac, have intolerances or allergies to eggs, wheat, dairy, nuts and many more. She will not be able to have every snack in the jars, but she will certainly have a choice! As a precaution, you should always read labels if your child is sensitive to any ingredient.
Tip 7: Shop Clever
This year, we included raisins, puffcorn, fruit shapes, crackers, rice wafers, cereal bars as well as a brand new (top secret) treat by Organix that will hit the shelves this month. All shall be revealed soon.
We also made sure there were bubbles in each jar. Who doesn’t like bubbles?
Tip 8: Putting the Jars Together in Minutes
- Wash and dry the jars again. Sterilise them if need be.
- Start by filling the jars with treats. Use scrunched up tissue paper at the bottom of the jars if you are not filling them up completely.
- Cut your fabric scraps into circles (about 7 cm wider than the size of the lid).
- Spread white glue mixed with water on top of the lid, place the fabric on top.
- Place a rubber band around the neck of the jar to keep the fabric in place, and then tie ribbon around it.
- Leave to dry.
Is there anything else you would put in your healthy jazzy jars?
- I met a few of the inspirational people working for Organix this week and found out about their latest creations. I was not compensated for this post, but I used some of the treats I was given treats for my children. I bought most of the snacks in the pictures, including Organix products, because they are my children’s favourites.
- Every month, Bostik sends us a selection of crafting supplies free of charge as part of the Tots100/Bostik Craft Bloggers’ Club and I used the White Glu in this little activity. All photos and opinions are my own.
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