glitter jar recipe, ingredients, meditation, mindfulness, Montessori, activities, add glitter

Best Glitter Jar Recipe for Calmness

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When I taught kids yoga several years ago I came up with a mindfulness glitter jar recipe I could do with a group of children. It’s super fun and easy to create and offers a quick retreat for children to explore calmness. 

A glitter jar is also great for stress reduction, as the holiday season is upon us. You can also place your glitter jar in your Montessori peace corner or shelf for your child to take out independently. 

Here, I’ll share with you my favorite glitter jar recipe and how it worked out with my three-year-old daughter, Annie at home!

*I also made cutting strips for Christmas. To download them, sign up for the Resources Library at the bottom of this page.


glitter jar recipe, calm, peace, mindfulness, Montessori

Reduce stress this holiday season

The holiday season is upon us; a wonderful and joyous time of year! I grew up celebrating the Christmas season with my family in New York. I remember the snow falling, the brisk air, and the feeling of warmth and happiness in the household.

The holiday crafts, music, performances, and other activities are so much fun and it’s exciting. That’s the good part! But, the holidays can also be a stressful time for all of us… even for our children! 

Our days and weeks are usually busy to begin with, and once you throw in additional errands, chores, and activities, it can overwhelm anyone. It seems that whenever our routines get out of whack even a little bit, our little ones can get stressed and anxious.

In keeping with the peaceful lessons starting with being thankful, I thought it would be fun to begin to put together some peaceful objects for the holiday season. 

‘Tis the season of giving and peace on Earth. Giving and peace are beautiful topics that we can teach our children. But how do we transform intangible lessons like peace into tangible works for our kids to explore?

A mindfulness glitter jar is a peaceful object for children to experience calmness. Why not make one with your little one this holiday season? You probably have all of the ingredients already! 


I created a video on how to make a glitter jar

I thought I’d try something different and make a video on how I made the mindfulness glitter jar. Check it out and let me know what you think!

What's the best glitter jar recipe for kids?

Several years ago I taught a themed kids yoga class and we all made our own mindfulness glitter jar at the end, as a part of the class. 

I had over 15 children in the class and I had to go around and help all of them put the ingredients into their jars. 

I had to come up with a simple and quick glitter jar recipe that would be manageable to do with a bunch of kids in a yoga studio. It was 2017 and mindfulness glitter jars were already popular everywhere on the internet. 

Books about meditation and calming our feelings

glitter jar recipe, ingredients, meditation, mindfulness, Montessori, activities, Kerry Lee MacLean books
Meditation books for kids by Kerry Lee MacLean

A few years before exploring with glitter jars, I was a full-time Montessori teacher. While teaching, I came across these two books for children about meditation, by Kerry Lee MacLean

These books talk about recognizing our feelings and they teach children how we can calm our minds and bodies with meditation. The books also describe a “mind jar” which is a like a mindfulness glitter jar. 

Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean

Moody Cow Meditates by Kerry Lee MacLean

Moody Cow Meditates has a mindfulness glitter jar recipe in the back of the book, which is the recipe I used with the kids during the yoga class. The recipe calls for glycerin and a little dish soap. This worked out fine, but over the years I tweaked my own recipe, using clear glue instead.

glitter jar recipe, calm, peace, mindfulness, Montessori
glitter jar recipe, ingredients, meditation, mindfulness, Montessori, activities
Glitter jar recipe ingredients

You will need:

Hot tap water. It’s best to use warm or hot tap water so it helps to mix with the glue and glitter. You can also use distilled water instead of tap water. Distilled water will help prevent your glitter jar from getting moldy if you plan on keeping it for a long time. 

Clear glue. This will help the glitter to move more slowly. I’ve also used glycerin which also works well. I found that I prefer clear glue because it’s easier to find. You can also use glitter glue

Glitter. I prefer to use a larger glitter or traditional glitter rather than super fine glitter. Super fine glitter will have a harder time falling to the bottom of the jar. You could do a mixture of different types of glitter.

Food coloring. This is optional, but the jar looks prettier with colored water!

Jar or Bottle. I recently found these tall thin plastic sensory bottles at Michael’s Arts and Crafts. They remind me of a Voss water bottle, which you could also use. Or you could use any water bottle. In the past I’ve used a large glass mason jar, but I like these plastic bottles because they won’t break if you drop them and they’re easy for little kids to handle.  

Objects or charms. Optional. When I taught the yoga class, we did an ocean theme so we added a few small sea shells and small starfish figure/toys in the jars. For winter, you could put in large snowflake glitter or confetti. 

glitter jar recipe, ingredients, meditation, mindfulness, Montessori, activities, pouring water
Pour hot tap water

The first step is to pour the hot tap water into the jar or bottle. I fill the bottle three-quarters of water because I have found that it allows the glitter to fall to the bottom at the right speed. The more water you put in, the faster the glitter will fall. 

glitter jar recipe, ingredients, meditation, mindfulness, Montessori, activities, add food coloring
Add food coloring

Next, add food coloring to the water. I add about 7 or 8 drops but you can adjust based on your preference. Food coloring is optional but I find the overall effect of the bottle looks more beautiful if the water is colored to match the color of the glitter.

Annie chose red glitter so we used red food coloring here.

glitter jar recipe, ingredients, meditation, mindfulness, Montessori, activities, add glitter
Add glitter: talk about different feelings while putting in the glitter

Then, it’s time to add the glitter. We added a few tablespoons of glitter. Before putting this together, we read Moody Cow Meditates. In the book, as they were adding glitter to the jar they talked about the angry thoughts they had. 

Each sprinkle of glitter they put in the jar represented an angry thought. This way, when you shake the jar, it represents your mind with all of the angry thoughts moving around everywhere. 

Then, take a deep breath, and watch all of the glitter slowly settle to the bottom.

While doing this with Annie, we talked about all types of feelings as we added the glitter, not just angry feelings. Our minds can be overloaded with any type of thought or feeling that we have. Our goal with the mindfulness jar is to calm down all of our thoughts. 

glitter jar recipe, ingredients, meditation, mindfulness, Montessori, activities, add clear glue
Add clear glue

After adding the glitter, it’s time to add the clear glue. You could also use glycerin which works well, but clear glue is easier to find and works just as well. 

When I taught the yoga class and made the glitter jars with the kids, we used glycerin. Glitter glue is another option but I haven’t tried that yet. 

I filled up the jar to the top with clear glue. Shake it around and check how quickly the glitter descends. If it’s too slow, you can pour out some liquid and add some more hot water. If it’s too fast, replace some liquid with more clear glue.

Congrats! You made your own custom glitter mediation jar. If you have any concerns with your child opening the top, you can also add a strong glue (like Gorilla Glue) to the cap before placing it on. I did that for the yoga class, but didn’t do it for home use.

glitter jar recipe, ingredients, meditation, mindfulness, Montessori, activities, shake jar and watch
Shake the jar and watch the glitter fall to the bottom

Concluding Thoughts

I’ve been wanting to post something about mindfulness glitter jars for a while and I’m so happy we got the chance to do it! I thought the holiday season would be a perfect time to make them to help reduce stress this time of year. 

I love how the jars are so easy to make, and you can have your little ones help you make them. We started experimenting with them last week and Annie is always mesmerized by them when we shake it and watch the glitter swirl around and fall to the bottom. 

We made 3 glitter jars in Holiday colors: red, green and a wintry blue with blue and white glitter. You can place the jars around the house or in your child’s shelf or peace basket with other peaceful objects or fidget toys.

It really came in handy the other day when Annie had a difficult moment. We redirected her to the table with the glitter jar and we shook it together. It gave her the 30 seconds she needed to calm her emotions.

Have you ever made a mindfulness glitter jar? What other ways have you used to help your child achieve calmness? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


More Resources

If you liked this post about making a glitter jar for calmness and peace, you’ll enjoy my previous post about a thankful activity:

Try This Meaningful Thankful Activity With Your Kids

I also made Cutting Strips for Christmas! This is great for practicing scissor skills. You can cut out the strips and your child practices cutting on the black dotted lines. You can glue the little pictures on a separate paper to make patterns or a collage! To download them, sign up for the Resources Library, below. Enjoy!

*To download the Christmas cutting strips sign up for the Resources Library, below.

christmas, cutting strips, montessori

15 thoughts on “Best Glitter Jar Recipe for Calmness”

  1. Pingback: Try This Powerful Social Emotional Activity: The Love Light

  2. This would be a fun activity for a lot of ages. I would probably enjoy making one myself. These are cute and certainly calming.

    1. That’s awesome! I hear you! Glitter can be a mess. I remember doing glitter activities with kids in the classroom and it would get everywhere. If weather permitting, you can do the glitter portion outside. You could also designate an area inside to do the glitter with a drop cloth or newspaper on the floor.

    1. Yes, I do, too! Another calming activity I did with the kids was coloring Mandalas with colored pencils. But once I started coloring in the Mandalas, I didn’t want to stop! They’re so calming.

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