Classic Crafts for Kids: Sand Jar

June 19, 2013

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Now that school is out for most, you may be looking for a way to keep your little ones occupied. 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids, which celebrates its fifth edition later this summer, is an expert way to keep kids entertained and informed with a series of books full of fun facts, interesting articles, and interactive projects. 

Speaking of projects…how about making sand jars? Sure to bring out a kid’s creative side, a sand jar makes a great gift or can be used in a number of decorative (but functional) ways, including a pencil holder or vase. This project is just one of several Classic Crafts ideas from The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids, Vol. 4. 

To make a sand jar, you will need (kids—get your parents’ help and permission before attempting!)…

  • White sand
  • 4 bowls
  • Paprika
  • Instant coffee
  • Dry mustard
  • Funnel (Note: You can make one by rolling a piece of paper into a cone. Use tape or glue to keep the paper wrapped.)
  • Glass jar
  • Straight-sided drinking glass or clean tin can that fits inside the jar and allows about ½-inch space between the jar and the glass or tin can
  • Modeling clay

Divide the sand into the four bowls. 

Set aside one bowl of white sand. Color each of the three remaining bowls of sand by adding paprika, instant coffee, and dry mustard (one in each bowl), then stirring. 

Use a funnel, if necessary, to cover the bottom of the glass jar with a layer of white sand. Place the straight-sided glass or tin can inside the jar and stand it in the center, so that its rim is level with that of the jar. 

Use a funnel, if necessary, to trickle sand, one color at a time, into the gap between the jar and the glass. Make a pattern with the sand and fill the jar to within 1/4-inch of the top. 

Seal the space between the jar and the glass with modeling clay so that the sand won’t spill out. 


Ginger Vaughan has worked for The Old Farmer's Almanac for over a decade. Like the Almanac she strives to be "useful, with a pleasant degree of humor." 

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