Genies in the Bottle

This summer inspiration is brought to you by Target. Find more fun and surprises all season long on Target's #SummerUp Pinterest board.
Growing up, we used to make collages in the summer. In the fall, too and winter, but summer yielded the most treasures. Seashells, dried seaweed, rocks of all colors and formations. Flower petals and sea glass... We'd sit at my parents' dining room table and scotch tape everything to paper and hang them all around the house until the petals disintegrated and the shells started to stink and the rocks fell off the paper and onto the floor.

Before leaving for our trip I bought a case of Mason Jars with the intent to bring a couple of them with us so the kids could fill them with treasure - souvenirs they could put on their shelves to remind them of their trip. Then I thought twice and oh, yeah, glass? Isn't... ideal for travel. So I brought gallon sized bags for them to use instead. Temporarily, until we got home...
Archer was choosey - collecting only certain kinds of shells while Fable, in all her Fableness took great big handfulls from the shoreline, pulling out the broken pieces and then putting them back because even the broken pieces were beautiful. Truth.
The day after we returned from our trip, Fable asked about the jars. She was with me when we shopped for the stickers and the glitter glue and the masking tape and the jewels to decorate and label the jars and she held her bag against her face at 7:30am, the morning after we arrived back in LA and asked, "Now?"

I set the table, complete with picnic-y cloth that I found in the dollar section at Target and poured myself a cup of coffee.
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We brought a bag of sand from Provincetown and the shells they collected. I put out the flags from David's graduation and the leis and maps of Boston and our Red Line ticket stubs and watched the kids fill their jars with the tangible evidence of our adventures. 
Fable loves crafts. She lives for crafts. So much so that even after she and Archer decorated their jars, Fable asked to decorate alllllll of the jars. Every one. She covered them with stickers and jewels and letters until the stickers were gone and blank sheets littered the outside table.
(Fable became Fapunzel somewhere between jar #2 and #6)
"Will she remember this?" I wondered, watching her from the kitchen window. Will she remember the day she spent hours decorating jars with stickers?

And where do I store all of these jars?
"We'll give them to all of our friends," Fable said, and one by one, they have been disappearing with the guests who have come and gone this week. Tamara took the one covered in jewels and Archer's friend's dad got the jar with the raccoon stickers and my parents got a lovely pair covered in random letters and hearts.

And in their rooms, Archer and Fable's jars found a home - maybe just for the summer or in an ideal world, forever...  filled to the brim with sand and shells, ticket stubs and maps and the leis from their uncle's graduation... memories of the time they spent in Boston and Cape Cod, Summer 2013. 

Ingredients for Memory Jars

Adhesive Crystals 
Printed Tape
Anything awesome that your kids are into
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