I've seen these jars all over Pinterest the last couple of months or so, sometimes called "mind jars" and sometimes called "calm-down jars", and thought they might be a fun craft to make with the girls. (Okay, okay, so I'm totally dating myself here, but they remind me of the plastic glitter wands from the 80s and I really wanted to make one for myself.) Basically, mind jars are a tool to help kids, or anyone, when they feel overwhelmed. They are clear jars (either glass or plastic) that are filled with a solution of liquid and glitter. The glitter represents all the troublesome thoughts that are creating the stress. They are shaken to mix up the glitter and as the glitter settles to the bottom, you are supposed to visualize the things that are troubling to you also settling.
A note about Pinterest: when I pin things on Pinterest, I really try to click through to make sure that I'm linking to the original post so that the original blogger gets the credit (although sometimes it is hard).
As far as I can tell, the post Meditating with Children on "Still Life with Circles", is the first post I can find about the jars. It refers to the book, Moody Cow Meditates that has a recipe for the jars in the back. There are also a couple of lovely, later posts on Mind Jars and Calm-Down Baskets at "Here We Are Together", which actually describes a different method of making them than from the book. The first couple we tried to make failed miserably. In one, we added the big, fat (cheaper) glitter and it, literally, settled in about 10 seconds flat. Not what we were looking for. In the second container, we added Elmer's White Glue, which turned it into an opaque mess. Also, not what we were looking for. So, a few days later, after looking at the different recipes and thinking about the science behind what makes them work we decided to make an experiment out of creating the glitter jars.
(I'm talking about the science of the jars here, not the science of meditation - I'm definitely not qualified to talk about that because I haven't been at all successful with meditation. The closest I get to stilling my mind is in my yoga class - and I haven't been there nearly enough lately!)
- jars - we used half-pint glass mason jars
- glitter - the fine stuff
- hot water
- light corn syrup and/or glycerine (found in the pharmacy section)
- glitter glue
- dish soap