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Mindful Kids: Make a Mindfulness Jar

Posted by Laurie J Cameron

The Mindfulness Jar

A mindfulness jar is both a wonderful metaphor of how mindfulness works, and also a tool for slowing down and calming our minds.  By shaking the jar, letting it rest and watching the glitter fall and settle on the bottom, we bring our attention to the sparkling glitter and our mind and bodies calm and relax. Watching the glitter fall is another form of attention training, and allows the kids to down regulate. I have made these with kids in schools and at home, and it is a tangible way to teach taking a mindful pause. And anything that involves glitter is a win!

STEP 1:

Find a clear jar – glass mason jars or marmelade jars work well. For small children, clear plastic jars are an alternative.

STEP 2:

Let the child add glitter to represent feelings, thoughts and emotions that swirl around in the mind. I have the kids add glitter one pinch at a time, to help them get a sense of all that is going on in our minds. With a group, you can assemble tubes or bowls of glitter on table stations and they can use a color combination that they like.

STEP 3:

Fill the jar with warm water.

STEP 4:

Add 5 drops of clear glycerin, which makes the glitter fall slowly to the bottom. I found glycerin at our local pharmacy.

STEP 5:

Tighten the lid firmly to the jar. Some people add glue to the inside rim, but I have not needed it with 4th graders and above.

STEP 6:

Decorate the border of the lid with Washi Tape (colored Japanese tape) or colored duct tape or ribbon.

STEP 7:

Write words on the top of the jar, such as : Stop, Breathe, Calm. I use a Sharpie. Let kids choose their own calming words.

STEP 8:

Practice with the jar. Shake it, bring your attention to the falling glitter, and breathe mindfully. In some classrooms, we make them and set them on a window shelf and the kids and find their own and use it whenever they need a pause.

Watch this great video to see a beautiful and simple animation!

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