People tend to either love glitter or hate glitter. I fall in the “love” glitter camp. I have always loved glitter, and if I ever broke out of my brown/beige/black/gray and sometimes navy blue wardrobe, I would wear things with glitter. I wouldn’t even mind glitter all over my house, the mere sight of something sparkly makes me happy. But not everyone here feels that way, so I don’t get to have glitter around as much as I might want. However, Katherine agrees with me that glitter is wonderful, so we made Mind Jars for her birthday party favors. Mind jars are perfect. The glitter is contained but as beautiful as ever. I now have one sitting on my desk.
The idea is that when a child (or adult) needs a few minutes to calm down, he/she takes the jar, shakes it up, and watches the glitter sparkle and swirl until it settles at the bottom.
We’ve used the Mind Jar twice this week to help calm a child. The other day, Katherine was frustrated and impatient with her sister, who admittedly was getting in the way. I could hear the escalating unkindness between them (read: Katherine was about to get really mad), so I had her go up to her room with the Mind Jar, sit on her bed, shake it up, watch it, and come down ready to play when all the glitter had settled. It worked! She happily went up to her room, and came back down five minutes later, calm and relaxed, ready to play.
Today, Dave used it with Clara who was having a tantrum of unknown origin. He sat down with her and the mind jar (probably not wise to let a tantruming child go off on her own with a glass jar) and had her shake it. Clara wasn’t all that interested in watching it, but she did want to hold it. So Dave told her she could hold it and keep it stirred up until she was ready to let it calm down. When she was ready to let it settle, she was also settled. As we say, she had found her calm.
So… novelty effect or magic solution?
Mind Jars are easy to make: mix glitter glue and hot water in a jar, you can add extra glitter if you think it needs more.