Making a calm down glitter jar

Today I’ve been making calm down glitter jars with some of my students. These are great for anxiety because mindfully watching the swirls of glitter can help bring you back into the present moment. Anxiety lives in the past or the future. People generally worry about things that have happened or things that are going to happen. This little jar can help stop those thoughts, even just for a couple of minutes.
What do I need?

  1. a water-tight jar
  2. Clear multi-purpose glue (liquid)
  3. Hot water
  4. Food colouring
  5. Glitter

and if you are anything like me, paper to scoop up any spilled glitter!


How do I make one?

  1. Fill your jar to around 80% with hot water (I use it straight out of our water dispenser so its pretty near boiling – it has to be hot enough to melt the glue)
  2. Add a touch of food colouring – the more you add the darker it becomes. As this forms your overall colour make sure you are happy with it.
  3. Add glitter. There needs to be enough to swirl around but don’t overload it at this point – you can add more later if needed.
  4. Stir in the glue to fill the rest of the jar. Keep stirring until the glue has dissolved into the water.
  5. Put the top on (ensure it is secure) then tip and shake it gently. If the glitter falls to the bottom of the jar too quickly you need more glue. Add extra glitter if you need to.
  6. Leave to cool.
  7. Optional: super glue the lid on if you are giving this to younger children as I can imagine them tipping it out all over your carpet won’t be much fun.

Ideas for its use

  • Shake and watch the patterns as the glitter moves around
  • Count the number of glitter flecks you can see
  • How many colours of glitter can you see in the jar
  • Watch how the glitter floats and hangs in the air, imagine yourself doing the same
  • Shake the jar and breathe slowly and deeply while watching the glitter slowly fall to the bottom

Here’s a video if you need it:

How to make a Glitter Jar

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