DIY Glitter Jar for Mindfulness and Calming

DIY Glitter Jars for Mindfulness and Calming

The glitter jar is ubiquitous within the kid's yoga and mindfulness space. You see them in every early  childhood classroom, and oftentimes in big kid classrooms, too.  They are popular because they have become synonymous with the peace corner, calming techniques, self-regulation and the whole-child movement at the forefront of education.

Making a glitter jar with your kids is a great way to introduce mindfulness. It illustrates how our thoughts can settle, just like when you shake it. The glitter represents our thoughts.

When you are experiencing big emotions, give it a good shake and watch the glitter as it settles to refocus and refresh your mind!

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How to Integrate Mindfulness into the K-5 Classroom
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But is the glitter jar the end all be all? No!
But it can be great when done right.

What are people doing wrong:
They make them too dark, too full of junk, and too available.
They need to be light, beautiful, and available, but not always visible. Children should be able to access them in a designated area.

The recipe at the end of the article will explain HOW to make it right.

So how do we use a glitter jar?

Make it matter with CONTEXT that fits it into the child's life. So if you work with little kids, keep your explanation brief.

"Friends, we are going to shake, shake, shake this glitter jar because sometimes our energy is wiggly, shaky, and silly. Sometimes we feel too excited or mad (or name the emotion) to feel calm and safe. All emotions are okay to feel. We do need to make smart choices to make sure we stay in control of our bodies and our voices.

When our energy gets too big, we can let it settle like the glitter in this jar.”

Step 1: Are you feeling anxious, overwhelmed, upset or any other big emotion? Let’s use the Glitter Jar.
Step 2: Shake it up! That's your energy (or emotions/thoughts, etc)
Step 3: Quietly watch the glitter settle from easy seat or in sphinx pose
Step 4: Notice how your energy feels as the glitter settles. If you feel calmer, notice and congratulate yourself for responding to your needs. If you need more time, shake it one more time and repeat!

Enjoy the glitter jar first with explicit instruction, then give the children freedom to use it and explain it in their own words. Remember their age and ability, and what matters in their lives and speak to that!

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How to Make a Glitter Jar

Ingredients:

  • Jar with lid/cap (any jar or consider water bottles for younger hands)
  • Warm water
  • Glitter glue of your choice (any color!)
  • Colored glitter(s) of your choice 
  • Hot glue or tape, to seal the jar

Instructions:

  • Simply use a recycled jar or bottle
  • Fill the jar halfway with warm water.
  • Have the child squeeze the glitter glue color of their choice into the bottle.
  • Add colored glitter of your choice.
  • Cover bottle and shake like crazy until you can tell how the colors will settle.
  • Determine if you like how it looks and if not, add more glitter or glue.
  • Once complete, fill with water about 90%.
  • Cover or cap the jar. Seal the cap closed with hot glue or durable tape. 

Ways to use your Glitter Jar

  • Place in your peace corner and use it for calming. When kids are feeling big emotions, invite them to visit the peace corner. The swirling glitter is calming and can help kids manage those big emotions.
  • Use it as a timer. Shake up the glitter jar and use it as a timer for activities such as relaxation poses (savasana). When the glitter settles, times up!
  • Make a mindful connection to your brain. Explain that the jar represents our brain. Our brain is filled with many thoughts and sometimes can feel busy when we shake it up. But as the glitter settles, so can our minds.
  • Hidden treasures for focus. Add one larger piece of metallic confetti or a small light toy. Shake it up and try to find the hidden treasure!

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