Our Mind Jar

Today we tried a different way of making a Mind Jar. (Here is a free MindJar printable for you so you can share a MindJar with someone who might like or need one! For another great idea try making a Calm-Down-Basket!)
(A Mind Jar is a meditation tool to use whenever a child feels stressed,overwhelmed or upset. Imagine the glitter as your thoughts. When you shake the jar, imagine your head full of whirling thoughts, then watch them slowly settle while you calm down. We personally don’t use time-outs in our home but I imagine that this might be a nice alternative to something like that, and certainly more fun than sitting on a chair!)
We mixed 1 tablespoon of pink glitter-glue with about 1 cup of hot water, then added pink food colouring and a tiny tub of glitter.
The glue makes the water so thick and gooey that the glitter just slowly and gently swirls around, it takes about 5 minutes for all the glitter to settle, perfect to gather your thoughts!


I think we might be making some of these for our friends,too.
They are a huge hit with everyone, even the grown-ups can’t put them down.

A few lovely people in the comments have suggested using a peanut butter jar as they are made of plastic, this is a great idea if your little ones drop (or throw) things!

Wishing you a beautiful day.

ps// We first discovered the Mind Jar via Angie’s blog and the original idea came from Kerry Lee MacLean.

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219 Responses to Our Mind Jar

  1. hmmm, i have some glitter, and some goopy glue …. sounds like something we should try xxx

    • Harriet says:

      I’m a hairdresser and I think one of these would be great when trying to cut little kids that don’t want a haircut. I’m willing to tryl

  2. Angie says:

    Oh, I love the idea of using glitter glue. I have glitter glue I’d love to use in a way other than scraping off my chairs. This one is gorgeous. xo

  3. Jen says:

    this has been flying around pinterest the last few days. Looking forward to making one! But it might be more for ME :)

  4. Stephanie says:

    I love this! Definitely going to try one at my house.

  5. Stacia says:

    what a beautiful and fun idea. My daughter (7) has Aspergers this would be wonderful for her when she is trying to calm down!

    • Jane says:

      Did you try this And how did your daughter understand the concept? Would be very interested to hear your feedback

  6. Jenna Burns says:

    What a wonderful thing for sensory disordered kids. THANK YOU!

  7. LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Stephanie says:

    I’m totally making one of these but for myself :)

  9. Lesley says:

    We just made this. I didn’t have any glitter glue so I just emptied a bottle of white school glue into the jar. It took more than a cup of water. Now let’s see if the it actually works with the kids!

    • I hope they like it as much as my little ones like theirs, even our one-year old loves watching the glitter swirl around!

    • Brenda M Merrill says:

      I just made two of these for my Grandson’s . They are different but not what I was expecting… they take more than one cup of water and I think maybe more glue should be used. I used glass mason jars also , which might not be such a good idea for Children. I have been playing with mine so it has kept me entertained for afew minutes. They are pretty to look at!

    • kathy says:

      i just made this and it doesn’t work for me at all. the glitter settles so quickly and isn’t even pretty to watch. i added some white elmers glue to see it that would help since i used all me glitter glue but that made it white. any ideas to help? i’d love it to work for me!

      • The original recipe uses glycerin, that might work. We have recently been using something called “glitter paint” , about a teaspoon with one cup of hot water, and it seems to work well, though it takes quite a bit longer to completely settle.

        • denise says:

          I have tried several times now and with glycerin but it settles pretty quickly and its all that pretty. How much glycerin do you use in the original recipe ? Ive used two tablespoons in two cups of water. Any idea’s ??

      • Desiree says:

        Try adding clear/light corn syrup! Ours settles a lot slower now with that added :)

  10. Chrissy says:

    I just repinned this picture on Pinterest! I am so glad that I hopped over to your site, to read the official explanation. This is a lovely idea!


  11. Heather says:

    Hi! I love this idea … I am currently trying to make one and I used twice as much glitter glue and water but the glitter is settling really fast … When I tried putting regular glue in the water got so cloudy that you could not really see the glitter … I was wondering if you used a specific type of glitter glue … I love this idea and really want to use if for my little ones!!

  12. Kendra says:

    I had the same trouble with the glitter settling too quickly, but I added in a few hearty squeezes of light corn syrup and that seemed to do the trick! Mine still doesn’t take 5 minutes to settle, but the glitter does fall a little more slowly. It’s a great idea, and the finished product is so pretty!

  13. Hanna says:

    I don’t have children, but I think this is an awesome idea, perfect for just calming down.

  14. stacy says:

    Ok, you are officially my hero. I am going to make one jar for them, and one jar for me!! Thank you, what an incredible idea :)

  15. Summer Miles says:

    we did this today and used the blue get Elmers… it worked perfectly! we also added a few little trinket, a tiny cow, a tiny dice.. some things like that to find as the glitter storm calms :)

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  18. Julie says:

    Love this. Found on pinterest. Just made. Hoping it will help during “Timeout” and that I can rename timeout something more positive like glitter time so she’ll actually stay there and calm down.

  19. Love this! Just found it on pinterest, thought it was pretty simple so I threw one together for my son who has some behavioural issues. I can’t wait to try it out on him tomorrow to see how it works. Made me feel better!!

  20. Erin says:

    This is brilliant! I have a little boy in my class who I think will benefit from this.

  21. Tahra says:

    I love this idea – I am going to make one asap! I have a 5 year old with ADHD who is just starting school. I hope it will be a wonderful adjustment for him, but I think I will talk to the teacher about making one for the classroom, just in case!

  22. Just curious, what do you do instead of time outs?

    • Lots of hugs, colouring in Mandalas , talking about making the right choice and then rewarding making the right choices! :)

      • Meghan says:

        I love this idea. I do use time outs but I like having other consequences and opportunities to make good choices. I taught Special Education for 5 years and my last year, I had autistic students. We used Mandalas all the time. My other teachers thought I was crazy, but they really work!

  23. Pingback: Meditation with Kids – Mind Jar « This Adventure Life

  24. Sarah Greenwood says:

    Am I the only one who wants to know how to seal the thing. My little 3 year old Houdini would have the lid off in two seconds. :)

  25. Michelle says:

    Love this! So much so that I went to the craft store and bought everything to do this today. Mine didn’t work out :( Thinking the craft glue I used was bad, it just glooped up and when I shake it, it sinks right to the bottom. Bummer. Can’t wait to make a new one. Brilliant.

    • danabfly says:

      I had the glue sticking problem too, but i was persistent and mixed it with a wire whisk and it work.

  26. Laurie says:

    What a fantastic idea. I found this on Pinterest, as well. I’m glad I clicked over to get the full explanation, and also to find out you’re also a homeschooler! I think I’ll be putting your blog in my Google Reader. :) I love finding homeschoolers like you who have such great ideas for teaching our little ones! Thank you!!

  27. Ash says:

    Anyone have the problem of the glitter floating to the top?!

    • danabfly says:

      some of my glitter glue floated to the top at first, but then i mixed it with a wire whisk to separate it (if i am going to make more i might want to get a cheep one for crafts, because I used the one from my kitchen). on a side note, I think it might be nice with some silver glitter. I did my first one with green food coloring, green glitter glue and green glitter. I think some silver glitter with the other colors would have more sparkle… someone try it and let me know (I want to use up the stuff I bought before i buy more).

    • Erinn Knoll says:

      yes glitter floating on the top all clumped up :(

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  29. I saw this on Pinterest and had to come here and tell you what a fantastic idea I think it is! I’ll be doing it for sure!

  30. Aimee says:

    I am having trouble with the glitter settling really quickly. I desperately need this to work for my son. It is the perfect idea for him. I wish I could get this thicker. I have tried corn syrup and glue and it is still not right. Can someone please help me.

  31. jennalee says:

    My guys don’t want the glitter to settle…they like to keep swirling it and watch the “tornado” that it makes. I added 1 tsp. of glycerin (in the first aid aisle) to help keep the glitter suspended. To seal it I used a hot glue gun.

  32. Pingback: Use a “Mind Jar” to Calm Yourself | Dump Your Frump

  33. Jane says:

    Am on my way to the craft store to get the supplies. Can’t wait to try it. The kids in my class will love this.

  34. Glenna says:

    I’m going to try this with my classroom… but I am going to use a plastic bottle/jar… just in case it gets dropped!

    • Heather says:

      I also used plastic because the child I am using it for throws things when she gets upset!!

      • Using a plastic jar is a great Idea, I have yet to find plastic containers that close well enough!

        • Alison Smith says:

          I’m thinking of upcycling a mayo jar; could probably use jars for apple sauce, pickles, dried fruit, etc.

        • Judy says:

          Peanut butter jars are the first that come to my mind!

        • Cathy says:

          Baby milk bottles/food storage jars (I’m thinking of using one of the containers that fits my Avent pump, although they might be a little short) – especially if you have any left over in the back of a cupboard! They are sturdy plastic with watertight lids.

      • Sarah says:

        I just made one for a baby I babysit who has severe separation anxiety. I used a “Fanta” pop bottle. It has a cool shape, and is plastic in case it gets dropped or thrown. I used E6000 glue.

        I ended up using glitter paint instead, and it worked for his bottle, but not in my jar (exams and final papers coming up — this is a great idea for myself).

        Thinking I might try it again with the blue gel glue I have and glitter. It will work the same as the glitter glue, right?

  35. Pingback: Toddlers, Tantrums, and Time-Ins, Oh My! « Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources

  36. Betty Farnsworth says:

    I tried several liquids doing this, The two that worked best are using oil for the liquid, add the glitter and food color and one jar with just corn syrup and glitter. One interesting thing, with oil the glitter floats down while the glitter in the corn syrup it goes up!

  37. Michelle says:

    Glycerin should work, you can buy it at almost any pharmacy or big box stores like Walmart.

  38. Lari says:

    I was wondering how long a jar last? Can you use it for several days, weeks?

  39. Heather says:

    This is such a great idea, but Im wondering if you could help me. Ive done this two different times with two different types of glitter glue and it just sinks to the bottom super fast and stays in tiny little clumps. And all the extra glitter I add either sinks super fast or rises to the top. Either way it takes less than 30 seconds for the glitter to settle/rise.

    • Michelle says:

      I would suggest adding glycerin to the water. I have always used glycerin when making snowglobes to get that slow falling effect. Glycerin can be found at most pharmacys

    • danabfly says:

      before sealing it, mix it with a whisk. I had clumping issues…so i got out my kitchen whisk to mix the glitter glue with the water before I added the food coloring and loose glitter.
      Mine sinks in about 4 minutes. The materials I used were just simply at our local big-box store.

  40. Corri says:

    I HAVE to try this! I teach middle schoolers and while I might not use it for them, I might need it for ME. lol

    I also have a 6 year old niece that sometimes hyperventilates herself during time outs. She needs the time outs, but this might distract her so she calms down.

  41. Andrea says:

    SO EXCITED!!!! Saw this on Pinterest and couldn’t resist making for my 13yr old daughter. I used a quart sized mason jar, 3 cups hot water, 4oz pink glitter glue and a few shakes of loose pink glitter…at first it was like most said and settled too fast (added glue until I used the whole 4oz bottle) so I headed to soap making box to find the glycerin but was out and stumbled upon the Aloe/Baby Oil GEL and used it (about 2 tablespoons) and it is now PERFECT! Daughter loves it!

    • Denise says:

      Awesome! I have a bit of that I was about to just dump. Thanx for the recipe. Can’t wait to try it!

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  44. Heather says:

    I made one today with the child that I want to use it!! I thought it would be good if she made it along with me so she would take some ownship in it!! After we made it she got upset and I told her to go shake her jar and watch her glitter and she did! Once she was done watching it she calmed down and talked to me in a nice voice!! So I hope this works for a while!! Other teachers saw the idea and they are loving it too!!

  45. Callie Nelsen says:

    I am having the similar issue with it settling too fast and with the glitter (not from the glitter glue) floating on top. I’ll try the glycerin or corn syrup I guess. I ended up using an old kid vitamin jar. It’s plastic and has a childproof top. Something tells me my 5-year-old would try to open it just because he could.

    • Amber says:

      I made our first calm down jars today and love them. I also used an old plastic chewable vitamin jar because of the smooth plastic sides (the peanut butter jar I saved was too huge!). Turns out the childproof cover is also water proof! (So far…) I didn’t have glitter glue so started with a 3:1 ratio of water and light corn syrup but added some more corn syrup because it seemed a little thin. As it is, most of the fast moving glitter settles at 1 minute and the rest slows down pretty much by 2 minutes. For my daughter, just turning 3, this is perfect. Someday we’ll need one that takes longer perhaps. I think 1/2 corn syrup and 1/2 water might have been about right. The glitter does float to the top more than I expected but a tiny bit of blue dawn dish soap helped break up the surface tension and most of it sinks now.

  46. Melissa Yeaton says:

    I save all sorts of things & keep them in my craft area…you just never know what you can recycle into something cool…This time I used your idea with the tiny bottles that came with formula in them from the hospital when my daughter was born. It is a perfect mini version for my youngsters! (I have teen boys & divas in diapers so someone is always needing a break!) Thanks for the great idea! I keep 2 of them in my purse so they can even use them in the car OH! & I glued the lids on since that was the 1st thing my 3 yr old did was take off the lid & poured it all over my carpet :) Lesson learned~

  47. Kathy says:

    I saw your mind jar and thought it was the coolest idea. So, I had to give it a try.
    Just wanted to share.


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  50. Laura says:

    Just made one of these for my girls… thought it was a brilliant Idea.. constructed in a mason jar so I added more water a TON of glitter and alot more than one tablespoon of glitter glue… I noticed too as the temperature of the water cooler the more it took longer to settle :) Just popped it in the fridge to see if I need to add a bit more glue. Thanks for the idea. My oldest calmed down just watching me make it!

  51. Sebrina Lee says:

    Love the idea, I messed up the first jar but plan on following the directions a little closer this time, mine was also cloudy. But I’m also adding a few moon and stars tiny conffetti pieces!

  52. Jennifer says:

    For a plastic container idea – Ball has plastic canning “jars” that have a screw on lid, so with some glue it should be pretty secure.

  53. Katie says:

    My son is three and a half and has been perfect until I had to stick him in Daycare [a year ago]. On top of picking up bad habits from other children, ADD/ADHD runs in my family and he is starting to show signs. I have been looking for an alternative discipline for him. My parents bug me to spank him, I don’t because I remember as I child all that did was make me made and want to be even worse… especially if he ends up having ADD/ADHD… some of the acting out isn’t his fault. I know what it’s like to have your mind racing and can’t have it stop and have a million things going on and you just want to explode [I have combine type ADD and it wasn’t until I was in my 30s when it was finally diagnosed properly]. I’m hoping this jar will help him sit still as he watches the glitter and just let’s him calm down and gather his thoughts.

    When he’s older I plan on doing the basket that you have as well. God Bless you for this, it’s an amazing idea and I wish I had found it sooner. Thank you and thank goodness for Pinterest!

  54. Katie says:

    Ugh, excuse my typos!

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  57. hannah says:

    As a qualified Behavioral Therapist, this is probably the worst idea for a ‘time out’. The whole point of placing a child/person in time out is for it to be just that. A time out, away from fun/activities where the acting out/negative behavior occurred.

    This would probably cause the negative behavior to occur more often because they would find it fun to shake the jar and watch the glitter fall… also, for kids that know what a snow globe is, it would just be association to something fun and playful.

    Great idea for a craft, bad idea for discipline.

    • Hey Hannah,
      I appreciate you sharing your opinion, however , I personally really,really disagree with time-outs, I think they are very mean and not very helpful, instead of teaching the child a way to cope with their feelings it teaches them that if they are true to their emotions or don’t act according to someone else’s standard they will be pushed away and are not loved.
      I find it a much better idea to teach my children to own and control their emotions, hence me saying it should be used instead of time-outs. :)
      And discipline, now don’t get me started on that word 😉 I can assure you my children don’t “act out” on purpose to get to play with the Mind Jar, because they know they can use it anytime they need to re-focus or even just want to look at the pretty glitter float around.
      Have a lovely day!

    • Sarah says:

      I’m also a counselor with my main experience working with adolescents in day treatment, in addition to some work with younger children plus being a mother to a toddler and an infant. And my educational training was heavily cognitive-behaviorally based. I also have to disagree with Hannah- calm down jars are excellent tools for teaching children of all ages meditative and relaxation skills. This isn’t meant to be a time out- it’s meant to replace one. I can also see how the calm down jar could be used in conjunction with dialectical-behavior therapy for children. My first jar making for my two year old was a disaster, so we’re working on making another one to go in the calm down basket we’re putting together. At only 2, she already learning how to take deep breaths to calm herself down and to identify what she needs when she gets upset. Thank you for your blog and the tools that I can use as a parent and a mental health service provider!

  58. HJ says:

    First of all, I have to say I think this idea is marvelous and thank you so much for sharing it. I have recently taken on my 4 year old step son full time, and beyond the adjustment of the guardian switch he also has behavioral issues and a new parent myself, I am constantly trying to find a way to turn everything, even consequences into a positive experience. I like this as an alternative to time outs, but the outcome is still the same. I like many people have made two. One for him, but also one for me (let’s face it, I can lose my cool too). I also must comment (I admit not reading far enough in the comments to see if someone commented the same already), that i used a craft “glitter paint” and it took about 2 minutes to settle prior to adding gylcerin to get me to that 5 minute mark. :) Hope everyone is enjoying them as much as I am

  59. Meghan says:

    I run an after-school program for 60 kiddos, and one of my coworkers found this on pinterest. She told me about it and we decided to try it- and we love it! We don’t use it all the time or for every kid, but it is effective for one child in particular. It allows her to manage her own “thinking time” rather than asking us every couple seconds if she can come back to the group. It allows us to teach more effectively when she is able to self-manage. Thank you for the great idea!

  60. Christa says:

    Found your mind jar post through another blog about the same thing.
    Love the idea. Can’t wait to try it. I even blogged about it on my blog.

  61. em says:

    I just found this on Pinterest and had to comment on a)what brilliant idea it is, and b) how I laughed out loud when I read your “about me” as I am Emily (em) and my daughter is Mirielle (Miri). Fun coincidence! :) Thanks for the great idea!

  62. Another beautiful idea – thank you! Will share this with a little person I know! :-)

  63. Shannon says:

    I tried making the mind jar with my 6 year old daughter today…1 for us and 2 for friends (pink, green, and orange). I’m wondering exactly what size jar you use, because ours was apparently too big. Also, the glitter is settling much too quickly. Do you recommend that I add more glitter glue? Is there anything else I can add to thicken it? (Would cornstarch work, or would that mold over time?)

  64. Sara Black says:

    Anyone made these in a plastic container of some sort? My fear is my child dropping it on my concrete floor.

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  66. Carolyn says:

    I just made one, but the glitter is sticking to the side of jar making it hard to see the glitter swirling. Any thoughts?

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  68. Kelsey says:

    I tried making one of these on my own without the glitter glue, and my problem is not that it’s falling too fast; it’s not falling at all! It just floats above the water! How do I fix this?

  69. Yvonne says:

    I just love this idea so I made a couple for my classroom. I used 20 oz. soda bottles and sealed them with super glue. The class I have this year is terrible about tearing things up and not taking care of classroom belongings. However, I think they will absolutely love these! Thanks for the idea!

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  71. Beth says:

    The first time I made according to recipe it did not work. What I found to work was regular 4oz tube of glitter glue and 1/4 c of glycerin. My kids absolutely love this!

  72. Tiffanie says:

    I love this idea, this makes students responsible for their own actions. I am going to try this out after Winter Break, if a child moves to the time out step on our behavior management chart I am going to hand them the jar and they have to shake it up really good and watch it settle, once it is settled they are responsible for getting up and going back to their activity. I believe in making my students responsible for their own education and making them independent, not having to relay on others….this will be great. I am also thinking of making a few different sizes for those different instances in which 4-5 minutes is not enough. Thank you for sharing your idea!

  73. MICHELLE says:

    We made ours today. Used HOT water with regular Elmer’s glue in a mason jar– LOTS of glitter, some glass beads, (very Small) an those small ABC’s foam stickers.. forgot the food coloring, but did not needed it because the glitter turned the water pink and purple. (USED LOTS OF GLUE-Clear) Put just a simple ring of glue around the top of the mason jar lid and a line around the cap…and waaa-la Two very happy kids. 😀

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  75. Marla says:

    I have 2 autistic boys, tht I wld like to try this with, I may even benefit from tht! But, also my son’s special ed class, we are wrkng w the kids on different projects for ths coming April (which is Autism awareness month) blue is the color), I’m going to mention this to his teacher if she hasn’t seen it yet, and this cld b another gr8 project, and w some blue glitter, this is an awesome idea! Thanks, so much!

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  77. Angie says:

    Thank you for posting this wonderful idea. We found plastic snow globes at Michaels and made our mind jars into calming globes. My 15 year old daughter made one for her “buddy” (another 15 year old but she has autism) for Christmas. Her buddy sometimes gets stressed out at school or has a hard time dealing with her feelings when she is overwhelmed. She really loved and was very facinated with her calming globe.

  78. Jessica says:

    I tried it using cheap pink body gel I got for Christmas one year that’s been sitting in the cabinet ever since.. In a 12oz Jar I used probably 2/3’s soap, 1/3 water and dumped in half of a tube of fine tulip glitter and a good sprinkle of “lazer Gems” (the long fine holographic kind of glitter) to make interesting.
    I timed it with the stop watch it takes about a minute twenty for the bulk of the glitter to be mostly settled the rest of the glitter didn’t fully settle until 7 1/2 minutes, although it wasn’t as interesting to watch after the first 2 minutes for me I think it would be good if you need to use it for a timer..
    I noticed the super fine glitter is the stuff that took forever to settle, so I imagine if you buy the ultra fine in any metallic color so it will sink it would extend the drop time. I didn’t have some of the other materials mentioned and wanted to just try doing it without having to go buy something and it turned out great!

  79. Lisa says:

    I ran across this on Pinterest and I am heading out right now to get the needed supplies. In response to everyone’s questions about viscosity I have also seen baby, canola, mineral (baby oil, what?), and vegetable oils listed. It was also suggested that the larger glitter flakes tend to float more than their finer counterparts.

    I’m going to use the glycerin and larger flakes because I don’t know if the coloring would mix with the oils.

    TTFN, and thanks for this post!!!


  80. Cara says:

    Wonderful idea! For those of you who are having a hard time with the glitter settling, heavy mineral oil is an easy and inexpensive fix as well. Clear, not cloudy and is perfect for glitter crafts such as this one( and snow globes). Good luck and hope some peace finds you all :)

  81. Karen says:

    Will try this right away with some of my sweeties in classes for students with autism.

  82. Melissa says:

    I love this idea and really need to use one for my easily distracted nine year old daughter. I tried making one with water and baby oil but it only turned the glitter into a big blob that never came apart. What size glitter works best? Mine is some cheap stuff I got a the dollar store and the flakes are larger than table salt. I wonder if larger glitter would work better with no water only oil and glycerin?

  83. Risa says:

    Cant get this to work. Glitter just settles too quickly. If you add glue to the water, it just becomes all cloudy and you cant see the glitter at all. Ive tried this twice already following the instructions carefully. Any ideas out there?

  84. Alicia says:

    I’ve decided to try this with my super hyper drama queen of a daughter who’s 7. She loves the idea and can’t wait to it. I try to do crafts with her as much as I can for mommy/daughter time since the baby was born. She’s adjusted pretty well but sometimes misses having me all to herself (like she’s had the past 7 years). If we can get it to work right I’m making a travel size out of a baby food step 2 jar. It’ll be perfect to just pop in my purse (since all my purses are huge lol) or the diaper bag (for when my lil guy gets bigger.) We decided to make her one color (probably pink) for the house and a different one for the travel size (probably blue, she said he can’t use a pink jar because duh he’s a boy. I’m also considering making another travel size one to send to school to help her with her concentration. So wish me luck on getting the right combo of ingredients.

  85. Nicci says:

    Don’t try this with a regular ol’ snowglobe, unless you want your snowglobe to be hurled across the room and shattered.

    Or so I’ve heard.

  86. Megan says:

    Hi. If you do not do timeout at your house, could you please share the ways you do teach your kids right from wrong. I don’t know of any other ways. Timeout has been the only way my little guy can comprehend he did something wrong. Thanks in advance!: )

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  88. liz says:

    I was just wondering what kind of a jar you used? size?

  89. Morgan says:

    I’m making one of these tonight for one of my more angry kiddos in my 4th grade class. I’m excited to see how well it will work for some calm down time for him!

  90. liz says:

    what kind of jar did you you use (unbreakable?)

    • We used a glass jar as my kids don’t tend to throw things, but a few people have recommended peanut butter jars as they are made of plastic. :)

      • liz says:

        I work for an Early Intervention agency, and me and some of my co-workers have gotten together to make these (we love them, and so do the kids) the container we ended up using didnt fill to the top so there is a lot of empty space at the top and it looks weird. Any suggestions?????AWESOME IDEA thanks for sharing!

        • You could always fill it up with baby oil, that would give it a lava-lamp like effect.
          Someone else mentioned more water and liquid cornstarch. I haven’t tried either but they both sound good!

  91. Jacquelyn says:

    What kind of jar did you use (specifically?) I have been looking around for a jar and cant seem to find one that i like that is close to yours. is it plastic or glass? I want to use it with my 16mon old and I think glass would be way to heavy.


    • I think it was either an olive jar or a gherkin jar. We get most of our craft jars from friends and neighbours, so I really don’t remember, but I will look around and see if I can find one like it to let you know.
      It is glass, but people in the comments have been recommending peanut butter jars as they are made of plastic.

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  93. Dy-Anne says:

    I was given the suggestion of using a plastic soda bottle – i think the 12oz ones would be perfect.
    Also I used epoxy to secure the lid because i don’t want that coming open in a non-controlled environment (like on my couch or carpet)

    My daughter thinks it is great. Can’t wait to make one for my 14 month old.

    • Lisa says:

      Oh, I wish I had done that with the epoxy. I had thrown one together for a Pinterest challenge and the littlest dropped in on the floor. The lid popped off, fortunately the glass didn’t break- but a cup of gluey blue glitter is not an easy clean!!

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  95. Lay'Na says:

    I have tried this 3 times with no luck. A couple of questions: I’m using mason jars, so how much is some glitter? I see some are adding a LOT of glitter. What is a good measurement? Also is the water necessary? I want my glitter to float down slooooow, like 10 minutes slow if possible. Any suggestions would be great! Can’t wait to get this right :)

  96. Lay'Na says:

    Woo hoooo! I figured it out! Okay here is my recipe
    2 cup mason jar
    3 tablespoons of glitter
    3 tablespoons of baby oil or carob syrup
    2 cups of hot water
    4oz. Arlene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue

    Put all the ingredients in the jar in the above order. Use the entire bottle of glue and fill the bottle with hot water to get rest of it out. Top off mason jar.

    This recipe heads a 15min 36sec glitter drop time. I wanted mine this slow for my own personal meditation to give me something to focus on. I figure it’s about 1 oz per 5 minutes so just dilute with less glue and more water to make it shorter. ENJOY!

  97. Hello, found you via Pinterest. I’m going and fishing a plastic jar out of the recycle bin right now! Thanks for the idea, I’m excited to have another calm down tool to try.

  98. Rebecca says:

    I’m thinking of using a plastic peanut butter jar and a hot glue gun for sealing. Glitter, dish soap and water mixture… since that’s what I have on hand. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  99. Kristina says:

    I saw this idea on Pinterest and love it as a way for my boys to just sit and calm down when they need to. My boys picked out a regular size multi-colored glitter for these and it just floats on the top no matter what I do, so I definitely recommend getting the super fine glitter. We added WAY more glitter glue then the one tablespoon and it has enough glitter that I don’t have to worry about going back to buy the super fine glitter though. My boys like them so far, we’ll see once I want them to use them to calm down!

  100. Allison says:

    I’m a psychologist who works with special education preschool and elementary students, especially those who have emotional disorders. I have found what I call a “quiet basket” to be very helpful in calming them down, as you have. In my basket I have glitter sticks, stress balls, putty, Gak, tangle therapy, and various other textured balls, and can’t wait to add this to it. It works because when people are upset, they often resort to a more primitive level of development. Exploring the world with the five senses is the earliest form of development so anything that allows them to use those senses in a more pure form acts as a “grounding technique.”

    I would caution anyone who is using this as a “time out technique” because it could inadvertently reward the child for inappropriate behavior, just as one reader suggested. Ideally, this should be used for children who are upset, but before they break any rules, to prevent them from escalating. This is also a great technique when a verbal argument is getting heated to help kids and parents get their emotions in check with a “quiet minute”…or five! I’m a proponent of time outs for inappropriate behavior, such a intentional rule breaking and at a minimum hitting or kicking people or animals and destroying property, and this jar would not be appropriately used for that level of transgression.

  101. Erin says:

    Had to share these amazing stories with you…

    I posted this page on my FB and I received a lot of responses of people loving it. That was a bit ago when it was flying around on Pinterest.

    However, I got an email today from a gal that said this…really wanted to share with you what a difference these things can make…

    ” I made one and gave it to the counselor at the Elementary School where I work. She uses it daily. Let me share with you:
    One child was moving and was stressed about it. She shook the jar and said to the child that sometimes our lives seem like it’s crazy and things are moving too fast around us, but if we wait, it will pass and things will eventually settle down.
    Another was a child that was bothered that he didn’t have any friends. She shook the jar and told him that sometimes we are trapped inside our own little worlds and things are moving so fast we don’t see beyond it, but if we calm down and try to see beyond it, things will get clearer.”

    How awesome is that? So…thank you for posting!
    Love and light to you….

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  103. Erica says:

    Im adding like plastic animals t my sons and pretty beads to mine :) good idea!

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  105. Stephanie says:

    I had been wanting to do this for awhile for our daughter but did not have any of the supplies other than glitter and water. Today I decided to go for it tried a few different things that had been mentioned – baby oil, corn syrup, etcetera. However I finally found success with a simple combination of water and dish soap! I am not sure how much dish soap I actually put in but I played with it until the glitter was settling at the rate I wanted it to.

  106. Leslie says:

    I’m going to have to try this! Thanks for the suggestion of the plastic peanut butter jars, my son likes to throw :(

  107. Terri says:

    I wonder how this would work with using pink hair gel instead of the water…that would definitely make it thick so the glitter would fall slowly. I might try it and will let you know! Thanks!

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  112. Wendi says:

    Saw these months ago and loved the idea. I’m making them tonight with the kids I volunteer with at a center for grieving children. My group is compiled mostly of girls, and they LOVE doing crafts. They’re also very hyper, so this will be great to calm and focus them. Plus, we can do an intro about emotions, focusing our sadness and anger, etc. I made one at work today as a test, using a little glitter glue, some glycerin, large glitter and water. Like others have said, the glitter glue clumped (I think because I didn’t use hot water), but the more I shook it and played with it, the more it started to break up. Next time I’d add a little more glycerin (used a couple tablespoons) and a little more glue. Right now, the glitter settles fairly quickly, but it looks so cool when you swirl it around, tip the jar and spin it… none of my co-workers can leave it alone!

  113. I LOVE this idea! I also recommend using plastic because of little throwers…. It’s so good to have these things in place for our kids while they are young… it truly helps them learn how to calm down ad they can take that into adulthood! <3 Also, I might share this on my blog because it's perfect for my name "Life Sprinkled With Glitter!" =)

    I just posted about my "Coin Chart" system that I started with my strong willed child when he was three years old! It's a great system, you should check it out!

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  116. Karrama says:

    now that it has been a while, do you have mold in the jar? Did you add salt or vinegar to keep internal growth down or does the glue do that for you. Thanks for sharing!!

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  118. Brooke says:

    Thank you so much for the Mind Jar inspiration! My kids are loving the ones we created for our Peace Corner. I posted it here and gave you credit so please stop by, we’d love to have you!

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  121. heidi k says:

    this is the best idea ever! I have kids from teen down with ADD and ADHD who will hyperventalate and or vomit when they get too upset or wound up (even dentist anxiety) and i love the idea of hiding lil trinkets in there! we are making several!

  122. Taylor Andresen says:

    I love this idea :) I made mine the day after i found this!
    here’s my mind jar! http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/152/20120413171929.jpg
    i didn’t use food coloring, but i did have to use glycerin to slow down the falling. i love it :)

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  124. Karlee says:

    I saw this on Pintrest — I’m making them the kids I see in therapy using mini-water bottles so they won’t break and the kids can keep them. Thanks!

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  126. betsy says:

    Such a cute idea! i just made this but used glitter, grape jello mix, and clear dish soap to make it thick. it’s so awesome! my daughter thought it was awesome.

  127. Fiona Harker says:

    Great idea glad i found this on Pinterest, will be giving it a go with my daughter as she gets older. I had thought making a smaller version with maybe a plastic bottle would be a good idea for the car, as it can be a place where a lot of arguements and anger can occur for child and parent.

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  129. Meghan says:

    Your blog on mind jars was linked to from two others that I had found. When our move is complete, I intend to make one of these for my sons. I was sure to include your post as one of my favorites on mind jars: http://amegalilife.blogspot.com/2012/05/breathe-in-flowers-blow-out-birthday.html

    Thank you!

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  131. Toast says:

    I know that this jar was originally for smaller kids and that, at sixteen, I shouldn’t necessarily be looking at things like this but speaking from my own experience, making one of these really really helps me when I’m trying to stop myself from self harming. Every time I feel like cutting, I shake the glitter jar and watch it float down to the bottom.

    I carry along a small one made with a baby food jar just in case I start getting the urge in public. I just shake it and watch it swirl. So, I must thank you for this great help.

    Thanks a lot! I’ll be sure to do this, if I ever adopt some tykes of my own.

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  134. Miri, thank you for posting this. Obviously, you’ve had an overwhelming response, and I’d just like to add my two cents. We made these jars today for my 3 yr old daughter, and we were both mesmerised. She loves it to the point that she now pretends to be sad or angry so she can look at the calm jar! I’ll be posting about this, and will be sure to link back here. Thanks again!

  135. Mono Moo says:

    I thought this would be great for anyone. I can see having a smaller one on my desk at work. Maybe in a babyfood jar. My boss upsets me, I go back to my desk and watch my little jar for about two minutes…I feel better!

  136. summer says:

    i’ve also seen a water bottle used….a nice size is smart water…but will probably work better for a bigger kiddo…i bet my little 2.5 y/o couldn’t hold it well!

  137. Thanks to pinterest I have three or four Coffee Mate Creamer bottles sitting around… I think I am going to do this with those… I figure i will just glue them shut…

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  139. Karen says:

    ok, so made the 1st one thinking I could just use regular Elmers and glitter with hot water…fiasco…then I went to the Dollar Tree (my favorite place for science stuff) and got glitter glue (3 – 4oz. bottles for $1). Now, it was the cheap stuff and about a 4 oz bottle so I used it all with 1 1/2 cups of very hot water and put it in a Jif peanut butter jar (I teach preschool- can’t be using glass!) I chose the red glitter glue- awesome! The only thing I added to this was a few drops of red food coloring to make the color a little richer. Thanks you for the idea. I usually have as much fun figuring out how to do a project as the children do when I introduce it to them.

  140. We made our own “calm jar” this week. My 4 year old has really responded to it.


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  142. Sarah says:

    This is really great. Thanks for the idea!

  143. Agata says:

    Thanks for the recipe! Going to try this! Pinned it, too! :)

  144. Keri says:

    I love the idea of the calm down jar… but wonder if I make it for my time spot if the kids will WANT to go there.

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  146. Lee says:

    This may be the happiest page I visit on the internet today – have a great weekend! 😀

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  148. Jennifer W says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! We made one!

  149. Pingback: How to make a calming jar | DIY for kids & parents. « The Pink Hammer Blog

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  151. Dorinda says:

    I just have to put my two cents in…I made two of these for my great-grandkids (4 & 2). I used gold glitter glue, Elmer’s clear school glue, fine gold glitter, orange food color and hot water. Well the first bottle was beautiful if I do say so, autumnish orange with lovely golden swirls of gold glitter, however, Hailey would be entering 1st grade by the time it settled. Too much Elmer!
    After tinkering (and needing a calm down bottle myself) I finally got it! The one for the 4 yro is almost exactly 5 min. The one for my 2 yro is marked so you can use it in increments due to their age.
    Just go easy on the hot water and clear glue, you’ll get the right combo just keep adding a little at a time.
    Now onto making one for their mother.
    PS they’re great on car rides. Maybe a different color with sequins etc and no time limit – make as thick as you want. It’ll keep their attention til you can get them to Mickey D’s

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  153. Melissa says:

    Love this. I’m going to give it a shot with my glitter-loving, emotionally volatile 5-year-old. Thanks!

  154. Hmmm – I might try this one of my little daycare boys. When he is tired he gets really whiney and irritating (I didn’t say that!). Wonder if I can manage to get him to take a nap even for 1/2 hour?

    Thanks so much! Tina ‘the book lady’

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  158. Maggie says:

    Wow, great idea, but didn’t work as written. The glitter setttled within about 10 seconds. I kept adding more and more glycerin and glue and corn syrup until I had 2 cups of liquid in my jar (the capacity) and 1.5 cups that I poured off to make room for the extra stuff. If I were to do it again, I’d start with half glue (at least). But, now that it’s done, it’s fantastic. My over-excited and dramatic 6 year old will have a wonderful tool to calm down. Thanks!

  159. Lisa says:

    Ty so much for this post! I just started reading about the benefits of meditation and have found as a 42 year old adult it is very hard to focus and stay focused.. Although, I am going to continue meditating with hopes that I can get it down pat some day soon..
    I am going to make one of these jars for my 16yr. old daughter, going through the daily stress and tension of being a teenager I think this jar will be of great help!!
    I truly appreciate your post!’

  160. Carole says:

    You can also do this by filling a jar most of the way with clear(ish) liquid hand soap.. I used the store brand because its cheap cheap, but it worked fantastically. I did about 7/8 soap, and 1/8 water.. then I used the glitter and the food coloring.. it all came together nicely and the glitter fell pretty slowly. :)

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