Making a glitter jar is an activity you can do with students to introduce them to how their mind works when experiencing difficult emotions and how to calm down during difficult times.
When you pay attention to your senses, you shift your focus away from your emotions and thoughts. Instead of worrying about the future or the past, you focus your mind and reduce the brain chatter. Think meditation - with a focal point! It’s a simple and a very powerful strategy.
First - make the glitter jar! You can use any clear bottle or jar (cheap ones can be found @michaelsstores). Fill it with clear @elmersproducts glue or glitter glue. Then add glitter!
But don’t just make the jars and store them in desks. Teach their purpose! Story is a powerful framework for teaching Social Emotional Learning skills to students. By helping students to make the connection between the glitter and their thoughts, we can help them to manage their emotions.
Moody Cow Meditates is the story of a cow who has a bad day and his grandfather comes to help him deal with his anger and mixed up feelings. To help him settle his emotions, they create a mind jar, and use it to focus on meditation. (There is a glitter jar recipe at the back of the book.)
Now, let’s use our jars!
The purpose of a glitter jar is to help students learn focusing skills, calm down, and figure out that paying attention to their senses helps them regulate emotions. So practice with the jar daily at times when students are already calm. Remind students of the story to help them recall the purpose of the glitter jar!
Shake the jars, take practice taking deep, calming breaths and watching the glitter settle as our emotions do too.
By Miss Rae