crafts handmade Kids crafts nursery tutorial

How to make a Jolly Jar

My son started nursery this academic year and we have been introduced to all kinds of new experiences. His nursery is attached to the local Primary School which means he is very much a part of school life. He wears the school uniform, takes a book bag to school and comes home with two books to read at home every week. He absolutely adores being part of the school community and I’m happy that he is happy.

It has been a learning curve for me too. I do the school run, chat with the other mums at drop off and pick up, attend PTA meetings and wash endless amounts of dirty uniform. The PTA holds some brilliant events to raise funds for the school and I seem to provide bags of books, wine and cakes for raffle prizes.

how to make jolly jars

The May Fair is coming up soon and we were asked to contribute some Jolly Jars. The Jolly Jars are all laid out on a table and each cost £1. Children can then purchase a jar and the money goes to school funds. Both my children love choosing which jar to buy but this was the first time we tried making our own. My 4 year old had lots of fun so I thought I would share what we did.

The first step was to find some empty jars which we made sure were clean and dry and removed the labels from them.

glass jars

We raided our sweetie stash which I’m ashamed to say included sweets from Christmas and Easter! I checked everything was still in date and let my 4 year pick a selection of wrapped sweets.

choosing sweets

Then we had a good look for small toys to fit inside our jars. We found some Lego and Playmobil people, Kinder egg toys and unopened bottles of bubbles. You can include anything, small party bag-type toys are brilliant.

Then my 4 year put the toy and sweets in each jar making sure they were full up. He decorated each jar and lid to make it ‘jolly’ using his stash of stickers.

how to make a jolly jar

He was proud of his work and we’ll be taking them into school tomorrow. Have you made Jolly Jars before? If so please share any tips or ideas with us, I know we’ll be making many more!



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  • Reply
    May 8, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    love this idea! They’d make great alternatives to a party bag too 🙂
    Polly recently posted..Gingerbread Raw Bars

  • Reply
    Mums do travel
    May 8, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    We’ve made loads of these jars over the years. They’re a really good way of raising money at school events. We had a bumper crop once when my daughter decided she was too old for all of her plastic jewellery!
    Mums do travel recently posted..Normandy: D-Day for families

  • Reply
    Emma (My Little 3 and Me)
    May 8, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    What a great idea and it looks like he had such fun making them too.
    Emma (My Little 3 and Me) recently posted..Boxes of Exciting News!

  • Reply
    Kate Thompson
    May 8, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    These look such fun! My daughter made something like this recently 🙂
    Kate Thompson recently posted..Dorothy’s Easter Link Up!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    What a lovely idea – and great name, a “jolly jar”!! This is the sort of thing my children would LOVE to make…and to get!
    Globalmouse recently posted..Pizza in Naples!

    • Reply
      May 8, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      I have no idea why they’re called Jolly Jars but it’s a good name!

  • Reply
    40 Year Old Domestic Goddess
    May 8, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    What a fantastic idea, wish I was still on the PTA, these would be great xx
    40 Year Old Domestic Goddess recently posted..There Go My Marbles

  • Reply
    May 8, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I make these kind of things for our parties and for presents for teachers and so on; they are so much fun! You can make little survival kits too! I made some for Easter last year that the boys loved! They’re a great idea!

    • Reply
      May 8, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Thanks for the ideas, a survival kit sounds fun!

  • Reply
    You Baby Me Mummy
    May 8, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Oh what a great idea. The possibilities are endless. Even for adults it would be a great way to keep together lots of little smaller pressies x

  • Reply
    May 8, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    What a great idea and so versatile as well, you could make them for any occasion x

  • Reply
    Nayna Kanabar (@citrusspiceuk)
    May 8, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    What a wonderful idea and the fact that your son put it all together is even better.

    • Reply
      May 8, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      I love watching him achieve something, however small 🙂

  • Reply
    Hannah Staveley
    May 8, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Never thought of this, what a good idea .x

  • Reply
    May 8, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    so he should be proud, they do look fantastic!
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  • Reply
    May 8, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    What a fantastic idea for a school fete – I think I’ll suggest it to ours next time!
    LearnerMother recently posted..Why I need to follow the Daily Mail

  • Reply
    May 8, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    I love how much I have learned since Seren started school- but jolly jars are a new one to me! Yours look like a fantastic idea, especially for school fetes.
    Debbie recently posted..The Gallery: Faces of Siblings

    • Reply
      May 8, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      I think I am enjoying school much more ‘second’ time around!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Oh never heard of jolly jars before. They look fab though!
    Foz recently posted..Time to move to a toddler bed

  • Reply
    May 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    This is such a great fundraising idea. I haven’t heard of jolly jars but it is a lovely way to personalise your contribution to the May fair and to get the kids involved in fundraising.
    Kirsty recently posted..The Tiger Who Came to Tea Activity

  • Reply
    VaiChin @Rambling Through Parenthood
    May 8, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    This is such a lovely idea. Am pinning it for future use, as J starts nursery soon.
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  • Reply
    Lucie Aiston
    May 8, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Never heard of Jolly Jars either!!! What an amazing idea!
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  • Reply
    May 9, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Love the idea of this, never heard of Jolly jars before x
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  • Reply
    Gude @HodgePodgeCraft
    May 9, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Great idea! We always have loads of leftover sweeties too – might suggest this to our pre-school as a fundraising idea… 😉
    Gude @HodgePodgeCraft recently posted..The Cardboard Castle (a recycled photo story)

  • Reply
    Shell Louise
    May 9, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I’ve not seen jolly jars before, they’re a great idea for school fairs 🙂
    Shell Louise recently posted..Finally!! – Before and After photos -New Kitchen 😀

  • Reply
    May 9, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    that’s so sweet that he was willing to give away some of his own toys instead of having to go out and buy new things to fill the jars with!
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  • Reply
    Clare @ Emmys Mummy
    May 10, 2014 at 8:38 am

    What a lovely idea. Thank you for sharing, Think I will make some with the kids
    Clare @ Emmys Mummy recently posted..Saving money as a #Morrisonsmum?

  • Reply
    May 11, 2014 at 6:21 am

    I am on our schools PTA and we do Jam JArs at the Christma Fair and with our Summer fair coming up had suggested these again. Love the name of the jars too!

  • Reply
    Jo Middleton
    May 11, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    I’ve always seen these at school fairs but I never knew they were called Jolly Jars! Kids do love them, they always sell really well. Love the sticker decorations too!

  • Reply
    May 11, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    These look amazing, I think mine will really engage with this idea
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