As the school year winds down, now is the perfect time to start planning fun and educational activities for kids. Here are some great Mason jar-themed crafts and DIY projects:
1. DIY Mason Jar Fairy Lights from diyjoy.com
With just a few supplies, kids can easily create this glow-in-the-dark enchanting fairy lantern. Plus, they are super entertaining for adults as well. These fairy glow jars are much fun for after dark outdoors ideas, but they also make great DIY home decor for kids rooms or dorm décor. Check out DIYJOY’svideo to learn how!
2. Make a Mason Jar Aquarium
Make real-looking aquariums by adding plants, rocks, and aquarium figurines to a Mason jar of blue water. This makes a great craft for birthday parties and playdates. Each kid can return home with their own creation to treasure. Get theinstructions here!
3. Go Bug Catching
Tadpoles, butterflies, caterpillars, crickets, and lady bugs are easily-caught critters that kids love observing. Catch them, watch them, and then let them go in our reCAP Kid’s EXPLORE Bug Catcher with magnifying lid and breathing holes! The included plastic Mason jar is very lightweight and flexible for convenient EXPLORIN’. Get an EXPLORE today!
How to use the reCAP Kids EXPLORE Mason Jar Bug Catcher to teach children about the life cycle of butterflies.
As summer quickly approaches, now is a great time to start planning educational summer activities for your little ones or end-of-year plans for your students! Here are two great ways to use the EXPLORE Bug Catcher to teach kids all about the life cycles of butterflies.
Option #1: Raising Butterflies
If you’re creating a lesson about the life cycle of butterflies, we recommend using a kit like this one to get started. This kit includes a caterpillar habitat, butterfly habitat, mister, eye dropper, butterfly feeder with sugar, and a coloring page. Also included are comprehensive instructions and very friendly phone and email customer service!
Our Butterfly experience:
We ordered a Painted Lady Butterfly Kit from Nature's Gifts. The caterpillars arrived quickly in their habitat. At first, they were the size of a grain of rice! After the first few days, the caterpillars started to move and double in size. It was fascinating to watch this happen so quickly! They then crawled to the top of the habitat to make their chrysalises. After 24 hours when the chrysalises had hardened, we gently moved them to the butterfly habitat. In about 8 days, the butterflies emerged! We fed them sugar water with the butterfly feeder provided and added extra fruit and flowers.
After a few days of observation and allowing their wings to grow stronger in the habitat, we moved each butterfly to an EXPLORE Mason Jar Bug Catcher. We were then ready to head over to the expERIEnce Children’s Museum to spend the afternoon teaching and releasing!
What was great about using the EXPLORE for the learning and release is that each child can have a hands-on, up-close experience. The EXPLORE’s magnifying lid with breathing holes flips open and allows butterflies to be easily viewed and released. The lightweight and flexible jar with carrying handle makes it convenient for little hands to carry and use. The EXPLORE also comes with an activity page and downloadable lap book that you can use to augment your lesson plans. You can view our day of discovery and butterfly release in the video above!
TIP: Cut up some cantaloupe for the butterflies to feed on and add to each jar. The butterflies will want to stick around longer after you release them!
Option #2: Catching Butterflies
If you don’t have time to raise caterpillars, catching butterflies the old-fashioned way with your little ones is also fun! You’ll need to purchase a net to catch them, or you can make a DIY net (instructions here). Your best bet for capturing them is while they are feeding on flowers late in the day or early morning. Make sure to tell your kids to be gentle, because butterflies are very delicate. We recommend helping your little one to carefully transfer them to the EXPLORE jar for observation. (Kids often try to grab the butterflies by their wings. It’s important to “cup” them in your hands rather than pinching their wings.) Try to handle them as little as possible, and be sure to add some branches or flowers into the jar so your butterflies have items to climb on.
TIP: Wonder what butterfly you’ve caught or where to find them? See the chart below to help identify species of butterflies and their favorite plants.
Ready to start EXPLORIN'? Get ready, get inspired, and get a butterfly kit and EXPLORE Bug Catcher today.
Wonder what species of butterfly you’ve caught or where to find them? See the chart below to help identify species of butterflies and their favorite plants.
Here’s a project that combines three of my favorite things: gardening, my mom, and Mason jars! This simple, homemade gift for mom is sure to make her smile. All you need is a few items and a Mason jar.
No directions needed- just add everything to the jar! Herbs or flowers can be planted right in the Mason jar or in a container of her choosing. The reCAP POUR lid makes a nice bonus: She can repurpose another Mason jar as a watering bottle for plants, or smoothie container for herself!
Tip: An Adapta Sprayer also makes a nice add on to use for misting plants with water!
Another Idea: Start a little herb garden with multiple herbs and Mason jars! Photo courtesy of OneGoodThingbyJilee
Homemade Dog Treats: Perfect for the reCAP FLIP!
Making your own homemade dog treats can be a fun activity for you and a tasty reward for your dog! With ingredients like peanut butter and bacon, these dog biscuit recipes are sure to have tails wagging. What’s nice about making treats yourself is that you can select organic, healthy ingredients. (No fillers or additives here!)
When you're done baking, use a Mason jar capped with a reCAP FLIP for a convenient dog treat container! The FLIP lets you easily shake treats out into the palm of your hand.
Soft-baked, Peanut Butter and Bacon Glazed Dog Treats
serves: 30 large dog treats
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine pumpkin, peanut butter, eggs, and oil in a bowl. Add in baking soda and whole wheat flour. Stir until a stiff dough forms. Knead dough or mix just until flour is incorporated.
3. Roll out dough with a rolling pin and use a small cookie cutter to cut out dog bone shapes, or just bake into little circles like cookies. Bake for 15 minutes.
4. Whisk the bacon grease and peanut butter until very smooth. Drizzle over the treats and cool till glaze hardens.
5. When the treats have cooled, add them to your Mason jar capped with a reCAP FLIP.
This Earth Day, reCAP has teamed up with other companies who have a passion for the planet and want to make lunchtime more eco-friendly. Whether you pack your lunch every day or go out to eat with coworkers, here are some handy tools to “go green” at lunchtime.
Eco-friendly Lunchtime Solutions:
Worldwide more than one million plastic bags are used every minute. Every year Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags. Instead of using these disposable sandwich bags at lunchtime, consider a reusable option such as Bee's Wrap.
Bee's Wrap is the "new" old-fashioned alternative to plastic for food storage. Made with organic cotton muslin infused with beeswax, Bee's Wrap is an eco-friendly option that keeps your food fresher for longer. You can wrap cheese, fruit, breads, sandwiches, or even cover a bowl. Bee's Wrap lasts for up to a year with proper care and regular usage. Plus, their brightly colored wraps make lunch a bit more cheerful!
Tip: When dining out, eliminate styrofoam waste by bringing a Bee’s Wrap with you to take leftovers home!
Over 500 million plastic straws are used each day in the United States. To put that number into perspective, that amount of straws could fill more than 46,400 school buses every year! These short-lived tools are usually dropped into a garbage can with no further thought, instantly becoming a source of plastic pollution. In addition, drinking hot beverages with these disposable plastic straws is a hazard for your health, since disposable straws contain BPA.
Luckily, Koffie Straw provides a “stylish secret weapon to enjoy your coffee and love your smile” while protecting our planet. Made from silicone and 100% reusable, Koffie Straws are an attractive option for lunchtime coffee and other beverages. You can smile knowing you’re eliminating about 584 straws (the average person’s straw waste per year) and keeping your teeth white in the process.
U Konserve Icepacks
U Konserve has multiple products to make lunchtime greener. One of our favorites are their brightly colored icepacks. Made from recycled plastic bottles, the cover is moisture resistant and machine washable! Plus, the gel-pack is nontoxic and safe. Beyond keeping your lunch chilly, these icepacks can be used in a variety of ways, from keeping baby bottles cold, to comforting little one’s boos boos.
To-Go Ware RePEaT Bamboo Utensil Set
Did you know that most disposable plastic cutlery can’t be recycled? You can do your part to eliminate plastic utensil waste by carrying reusable utensils in your lunchbox purse, or car to use at take-out restaurants. To-Go Ware makes doing so easy and stylish: Just slip a set into your purse or backpack!
Attractive and versatile, To-Go Ware’s RePEaT bamboo utensil set and colorful utensil holder are perfect for lunches on the go. The bamboo flatware and chopsticks are lightweight, strong, and long lasting, as well as heat and stain resistant. And here’s our favorite part- RePEaT utensil holders give plastic bottles a second shot at a useful life and an opportunity to stay out of our landfills, since they are made out of RPET (recycled PET plastic- hence the name “RePEat”).
Aside from lunches, the set is perfect for life on-the-go. The handy carabiner on the back lets you clip and carry a fork, knife, spoon and chopsticks wherever you may roam.
reCAP Mason Jar Lids
Made from BPA-free, FDA-approved “no break” plastic, reCAP Mason jar lids last a lifetime and transform your Mason jars into many lunchtime solutions. From on-the-go smoothies, to soup and salad storage, Mason jars are made more useful (and food storage is made more convenient!) with reCAP. Since reCAP Mason jar lids fit many brands of Mason jars, you can repurpose jars you already have.
Over time, these few small swaps- disposable lunch ware for reusable lunch ware- can have a huge impact on reducing plastic waste! Ready to do your part to “go green” for lunchtime? Right click and save our Eco-friendly Lunchtime Cheat Sheet.
1. Cold brew coffee protein drink by Daniel Cook
2. Green Smoothie by thebarefootceliac
3. Sauerkraut by Fran Haapanen
4. Wild Garlic Kimchi by Annette at 2tech
5. Rainy day Kids EXPLORE session by the Van Riper Family
6. DIY Cleaning Solution by Seacoastmama
7. Pizza party by Ruth Merriam
8. Tadpole adventures by Annette at 2tech
What are our reCAP fans up to this spring? Everything from catching tadpoles to hosting pizza parties. The possibilities with reCAP are endless!
Show us your reCAP Mason jar creations by tagging us in your photos with the hashtag #whatwillyourecap
Here’s one of our favorite reCAP DIY projects to date! A colorful and fun springtime activity for kids (or adults who need an aroma therapy/painting session!) Just a few ingredients + reCAP Mason jar lids!
You’ll love the vibrant springtime colors and soothing aromas of the gel paints. Plus, the paint’s thick texture makes it fun to paint with, so kids will have a blast as well! Just be sure to keep clothes and the work surfaces covered, since these paints can stain.
We used lavender, peppermint, and vanilla essential oils, but you can also use flavoring extracts as well. Large pieces of recycled paper worked well as our canvas.
2 weeks later our paints are still fresh (thanks to the reCAP FLIP Mason jar lids!)
1. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and .5 cups of water.
2. . Add 2 cups of water to the medium sauce pan and turn up the heat to high.
3. SLOWLY pour in the water and cornstarch mixture to the sauce pan, whisking vigorously.
4. When all the paint base has come to a gel like consistency, immediately remove from heat. (this happens very quickly once it is hot, watch carefully.)
5. Let it cool for a few minutes then divide evenly into jelly jars.
6. Now the fun begins! Add 3-5 drops of food coloring to each jar then mix well with a spoon until the paint is evenly colored.
7. Add 1/8 tsp of your favorite essential oils or flavoring to each jar.
8. Cap the jars off with reCAP FLIPs to store and keep your paints fresh.
*These paints will stain, so keep child’s clothes and work surfaces covered. Enjoy!
Ready to create your own aromatherapy painting session?
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The arrival of spring gives most of us a renewed sense of motivation. As the rain washes away the gray of winter outside, it’s the perfect time to wash away the accumulated dust and dirt inside. Luckily reCAP has sensible solutions for DIY spring cleaning- The reCAP Adapta Sprayer and Clean-up Kit ! The Adapta sprayer itself transforms your jars into spray dispensers, while the Clean-up Kit contains the sprayer, an organic cleaning concentrate, and a large, reusable fiber cloth.
Here are a few ways to use the reCAP Adapta around the house:
1. For a Spotless Refrigerator
If you don't have the organic cleaning concentrate, you can make your own DIY cleaning solution! Use a baking soda and water mix (1 tablespoon of baking powder per cup of water) or a mild soap and water mix (aim for unscented, natural soaps) to wash the shelves and bins. For tougher-to-remove stains, a mixture of vinegar can be used.
2. For Streak-free Windows
What’s great about the Clean-up-Kit’s fiber cloth is that it will clean your windows and mirrors without leaving streaks! If you’re using your own DIY solution and another type of cloth, be sure to pick a cloudy day to wash your windows. If it's too sunny, most cleaning solutions will dry too fast and create streaks.
3. For Shiny Surfaces
Instead of using vinegar-based a DIY cleaning solution, castile soap is a safer option to use on multiple surfaces, such as granite and marble. (Always test cleaners first on a small area first before applying to a greater surface area.)
4. For Stainless Steel
Make your stainless steel sparkle again using a mixture of mineral oil and vinegar. Instructions here.
Other Cleaning tips:
5. One of the best ways to get rid of lime buildup around the faucet it is to lay paper towels over the fixture then soak it with vinegar. Let it set for an hour, and the deposits will soften and become easier to remove.
6. You can clean screens with a scrap of carpeting! It makes a powerful brush that removes all the dirtt.
7. If your drapes are looking drab, take them out of the window, remove the hooks and run them through the air-fluff cycle in the dryer along with a wet towel (to draw off the dust) for 15 minutes. Hang them back in the windows immediately.
8. Sometimes comforters, blankets and pillows don't need to be cleaned, but they do need to be aired out after a long winter in your closed-up home. Take them outside and hang them on a clothesline for a day.
Ready to get cleaning? Put your Adapta sprayer on your Mason jar, and let’s get to work!
Clean up Kit & Adapta Sprayer
Two recipes for Lucky Slime, just in time for St. Patrick's Day! With just a few simple ingredients you probably have around the home, you can easily whip up a batch of emerald slime. When you're done, simply store your creation in a Mason jar capped with a reCAP FLIP Mason jar lid to keep it fresh!
Method 1: Traditional Borax Recipe
Recipe adapted from A Spark of Creativity
Method 2: Cornstarch Recipe
An eco- and kid-friendly option!
Method 1 Directions:
Grab a small mixing bowl and pour in 1 cup of water and 2 tsp of borax powder. Stir the ingredients together until well blended. Set your bowl aside.
In your medium sized bowl pour in your entire bottle of elmer’s white glue and pour in 1/2 cup of water. Stir until well blended. Once the contents are stirred together, add in 10 drops of green food coloring.
Mix the products together.
Pour in a lot of glitter and stir it together with your glue mixture.
Now pour in the contents of your small bowl right into the middle and wait for the products to become solid.
Use both your hands and start squishing the slime together to make it more solid. Form it into a ball away from the liquid and pour out the contents into the sink. The slime is now ready to play with. Once you’re done playing with the slime, store it in a Mason jar capped with a reCAP FLIP or POUR Mason jar lid to keep it fresh! The reCAP FLIP’s 2” opening is perfect for little hands to reach inside.
Method 2 Directions:
Grab a small mixing bowl and pour in water and cornstarch. Mix thoroughly.
Slowly stir in glitter.
Add 10 drops of food coloring and stir.
This slime will be a little runnier than the slime pictured. Use both your hands and start squishing the slime together to make it more solid. Form it into a ball away from the liquid and pour out the contents into the sink. The slime is now ready to play with. Once you’re done playing with the slime, store it in a Mason jar capped with a reCAP FLIP or POUR Mason jar lid to keep it fresh! The reCAP FLIP’s 2” opening is perfect for little hands to reach inside.
Get your own FLIP today:
Included in our Fermenting Starter Kit, Himalayan pink salt is ideal for fermenting. Full of natural vitamins and minerals, it both flavors your ferments and provides a whole host of benefits. Read on to learn more, or grab a kit and start fermenting!
All About Pink Himalayan Salt (Excerpt from Healthy and Natural World)
Himalayan salt is often marketed as coming from a non-polluted area deep in the Himalayas. The salt is actually harvested at the foot of the Himalayas, in a rock salt mine in Pakistan, which is considered to be the second largest mine in the world.
Himalayan salt, known as ‘white gold’ in its region of origin, contains 84 natural elements and minerals that are vital to our health, including magnesium, potassium, calcium, chloride, phosphorus and iron. The salt’s signature pink color is a result of a tiny amount of iron oxide (rust). Zinc, selenium, iodine and copper are also present in trace quantities.
Generally speaking, Himalayan salt is considered a healthy salt because no chemicals or additives are added to it, and it’s a naturally occurring substance.
Usually, this salt is sold as coarse grains, but you can also find it finely grained or as large blocks, which can be used as a unique way to serve your culinary specialties. No matter the form, the prized mineral benefits are always there.
More Facts about Himalayan Salt:
Why do we use salt for fermentation in the first place? (Source: Sandor Katz, Wild Fermentation)
So there you have it! Ready to hop on the fermentation bandwagon? See our 'Kraut About It blog post to learn how to make an easy first ferment.