"Calm Down" Glitter Jars

Update: See attempt #2 of the glitter jars here.  I think version 2.0 is much improved!
Since turning 4, it seems Luke has more and more times where he gets so frustrated or worried or upset that he will get to the point we can hardly talk to him.  He won’t want to do anything we suggest and he’ll just lay down and yell-cry.  It’s been frustrating and a challenge.  

I saw these jars on Pinterest yesterday, and even though we didn’t have all the supplies to make them, we got them started today.  You are supposed to use glitter glue, glitter, hot water, and food coloring.  We had glitter glue, hot water, and food coloring but no “extra” glitter to add in.  I figure I’ll just pick some up next time we’re out and add it in, but for now, these will suffice.  You can see the super simple directions at Chasing the Firefly.

Luke wanted a green jar and Lilah wanted purple.  I think Luke’s is really pretty and calming-looking.  Lilah’s could use some work; I made hers as purple as I could by using the red and blue glitter we had on hand and mixing red and blue food coloring, but it leaves a little to be desired.  We may try again to make her a prettier jar later after I pick up some additional supplies.

The idea behind the “Calm Down” jar is that you shake it up and watch the glitter slowly fall down to the bottom.  The glue mixed into the water helps to hold the glitter in the solution a lot longer than with just plain water, so it’s a slow, calming process.  


We used glass jars — I think these held peanut or almond butter originally — but if you’re worried about your child throwing or dropping it, I’d use plastic.  I would never give these to my children if they were angry!!!  This is more for upset, sad, worried kids….or adults!  You could probably even use this in place of many “time outs” when your goal is really to get your child to calm down and think about their actions.

I think I will keep these on our mantel or on the counter to hand to the kids as needed, and also so they’ll be in sight for the kids to ask for them if they feel the need.  I think with the jars within easy reach for me, I may use them, too, when I feel myself losing my patience.  I’m sure a few minutes of calming myself down would benefit all of us!

Once I get these completed by adding in the extra glitter and doctoring Lilah’s up a bit (or starting over) to make hers look nicer, I will probably hot glue the lids on so we don’t have any “accidental” spills.  I’d definitely need a calming jar to look at if that happened!!!

Update: See attempt #2 of the glitter jars here.  I think version 2.0 is much improved!

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

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