I have a fast and fun way to re-use an empty peanut butter jar for you today. With just a few household items, you can turn it into a “busy jar” – a search-and-find activity for the kids. You can put this together in under 10 minutes, with about $1 worth of uncooked rice, and small items you can find in your junk drawers.
This is a fun item to keep in the car for long trips, or bring it along anywhere it gets hard to wait (like a restaurant, doctor visit, random Tuesday when lunch is taking too long – you get the idea). So next time you encounter this, save it:
Remove the label, wash it, and make sure it’s totally dry before beginning. Find a few small trinkets. In 10 minutes, I found a key, a marble, a button, a ceramic butterfly, a flower cabochon, a bead shaped like a fish, and a plastic star.
Fill your jar with rice, adding the items to the jar as you go. It tured out the key was a little bit large for this size jar, we’ve only ever been able to uncover part of it at a time. It would work great for a larger jar, though. Leave 1-2 inches of space at the top, otherwise the rice won’t have room to move around.
I glued the lid on with a heavy-duty adhesive so that I never have to worry about finding a pound of rice all over the carpet. I also added a label to remind us of what we might be looking for. That’s an optional step – this activity works just as well if the kids don’t know what they’re looking for!
As you shake the rice around and turn the jar, the items will be uncovered. (We found that plastic items surfaced really easily, due to the weight of the rice. So consider that when searching out items.)
Here, the expert will show you how it’s done:
It’s true that it won’t become your kids’ favorite toy, but it’s a fun boredom buster and activity that you can make with little effort, and make using things you probably already have! Activities on the cheap? Works for me!
What are some of your favorite inexpensive kids’ activities?