When your school has been open for 16 years, visits from former students can be eye-opening. Those three year olds who joined us at circle time our first year are now college students!  We’ve seen friendships established at CHMS that continue to thrive many years later, and we receive holiday cards each December with updated family photos, which we proudly display in our office. It’s amazing to see children you nurtured as three, four, and five year olds turn into elementary children who stop by to sell cookies, teenagers who are driving, and young adults heading off to college!

Over the years we have had former students come back to CHMS to get volunteer hours for school, assist the teachers with our summer camp program, and to read to the current students. They love reconnecting with an environment that holds a special place in their hearts and we love reconnecting with them! It’s a win-win situation.

This past week, we had another visit from a former family, but this visit was unlike any other we have experienced! This visit included 397 plastic milk jugs and a structure called the “Jugloo” being built on our playground!

Creativity in Action

Carla Brown is a former CHMS parent who runs a blog and podcast called Trashmagination, which focus on the creative reuse of items that people usually throw away. Plastic milk jugs are one of Carla’s favorite materials to creatively reuse. Together with her husband, Bob Welland, her son (and former CHMS student) Russell, and his boy scout troop (1577), Carla designed and built an igloo structure made of milk jugs and zip ties. The Jugloo was entered in the 6th annual Maker Faire at George Mason University on June 2, 2019.

“The Faire showcases amazing collection of tech enthusiasts, engineers, woodworkers, metal workers, auto hackers, artists, teachers, and craftspeople from all over the DC Metro area and beyond. There are tons of hands on activities where you can learn how to make this stuff on your own!”  

Russell and his fellow scouts helped collect and clean the milk jugs, test out the construction process, and assembled the finished Jugloo at the Maker Faire. Russell also used the Jugloo as the focus for his “Passion Project” presentation at school. After all that effort, he didn’t want it to “go to waste” and so offered it to Children’s House for a day.  We’re so glad he did!!

Igloo Adventure

Russell, Carla, and Bob came by after hours and assembled the Jugloo on our deck. The next day, much to the children’s surprise, there was a Jugloo on our playground and it was a sight to see! It was big enough for several children to get in and the younger ones could actually stand up.  The children had a fabulous time trying it on for size!

We love that they had they opportunity to see creative reuse in action. We regularly use toilet paper rolls, applesauce and yogurt cups, shoe boxes, tissue boxes, and more in our annual craft events and for special projects at school. Ms. Karen recently helped the children make kazoos out of toilet paper rolls and wax paper and “guitars” out of yogurt cups and rubber bands! Reusing items can be fun – whether you’re climbing in them or making noise with them!

Thanks for sharing!

A HUGE thank you to Russell, Carla, and Bob for sharing the Jugloo with us! They took a couple of hours out of their day to transport the jugs and assemble the structure just so our students could play and experience a little Arctic adventure on the playground. We really appreciate your creativity and enthusiasm and look forward to following your future projects and creations!

For the complete story behind the Jugloo, be sure to visit the Trashmagination blog and listen to the podcast. For more creative ways to reuse milk jugs, check out Carla’s Pinterest board on the topic!

Children’s House Montessori School of Reston (CHMS) is a small, family-oriented school located in a peaceful wooded setting in Reston, Virginia. We believe that a child’s first school experience should be filled with curiosity, exploration and opportunities for  independence. We offer half-day and full-day Montessori programs for children 3 years of age through kindergarten.

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