Many people are searching for ways to teach mindfulness and meditation to their children. This craft is an easy and affordable project that’s great to teach meditation to kids or even just help calm anxious children. A meditation jar (sometimes called a relaxation jar or glitter jar) is a great tool for children and adults alike to calm their mind, focus, and relieve stress or anxiety. They’re extremely easy to make and even a great craft for your child or teen to do themselves to customize their own glitter jar. We break down the whole process below step by step and also have a section on how to use your relaxation jar to teach kids how to meditate.
(Picture credit: Courtney Emery)
DIY Meditation Jar
Feel free to use containers and supplies you already have around your house, which makes this an affordable craft to do with your kids. If you’re missing any of the supplies they’re all easy to order online or buy at craft stores.
- Clear Jar or Bottle
- Clear Glue or Glitter Glue
- Hot Water
- Whisk or Other Stirring Implement
- Food Coloring
Steps to Make DIY Glitter Jar
Start with a clean and empty jar.
Fill a quarter of your jar with hot water.
Add the clear glue to your jar. Depending on the size of the jar this will require somewhere between 1/2 to a full bottle. (The more glue you add the thicker the water will be, which will slow the glitter’s movement. You can play with the amount until you get the consistency you want.)
Whisk or stir the mixture until it has an even consistency.
Add a few drops of food coloring and stir the mixture. Keep adding more coloring until it reaches the color you want.
Add in your glitter. Include a variety of colors and shapes. At a minimum, you should add some superfine glitter and some chunkier glitter since they will fall at different rates. Look to have at least a 1/4in to 1/2in of glitter in the bottom of your jar.
Fill up the jar with hot water to an inch below the rim and stir it up. Add more food coloring or glitter until it looks the way you want.
Fill it up the rest of the way with water.
Screw on the cap tight. (Optional: you can add a thin line of superglue to the inside of the cap to seal it permanently.)
Shake it up and enjoy your new meditation jar.
If you’re making this for a young or active child who may break a glass jar, clear plastic bottles and containers also work really well for this craft. If your child is prone to throwing things when upset, definitely use a plastic container.
Use a variety of glitter sizes, shapes, and colors to create an interesting visual experience.
If you prefer a visual DIY, check out this video on How to Make a Glitter Jar for Meditation.
How to Use a Glitter Jar for Meditation
When life gets overwhelming and you need a time out to connect with your breath, it can be hard to find a moment of calm to meditate. A glitter jar can help you steal a few moments of peace and calm anywhere. These relaxation jars are great for at work or just giving yourself a couple of moments of mindfulness when you don’t have time for a full meditation.
Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, just shake up your jar. Breathe as you watch the glitter swirl around in the jar. Focusing on the glitter and your breathing will help calm your mind as the glitter settles in the jar. You can use the meditation jar any time you need to destress or find a moment of calm.
If you really want to keep your meditation jar time brief, you can make a smaller jar using a baby food jar. This type of jar is very portable (easy to toss in a purse or bag) and small enough to hide in a desk drawer at work. Since it takes less time for the glitter to settle in the smaller jar, it makes it easier for you to steal a moment or two to calm your mind.
How to Teach a Child to Meditate with a Glitter Jar
Once you’ve made your meditation jar, sit down with your child and the jar.
Show them the calm jar with the glitter settled on the bottom. Explain to them how the jar represents their mind. Right now it is a calm mind, clear and still.
Have them shake up the jar. Explain how this is what happens to their mind when they’re worried, stressed, or feel upset. The swirling glitter represents each negative thought and feeling.
Have them set the jar down and watch the swirling glitter. Tell them to breathe and watch as the glitter settles.
After a few minutes when the glitter has settled, ask your child how they feel. They should feel calm and their mind should be as clear as their jar. Tell them that any time they feel worried or anxious they can shake up their jar and watch the glitter settle and their mind will clear in the same way.
This is a great tool for teaching meditation to children as it gives them something tangible to focus on to guide their mind to calmness and help them be mindful of their thoughts and feelings. It’s also something they can use at any time to help manage their emotions and anxiety.