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!

P1410438

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!

    ReadWriteSing

  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!

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  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.

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  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?

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  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.

    http://kasbn07.blogspot.com/2011/10/mind-jar.html

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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!