Calm Down Jar

Have you discovered Pinterest yet? Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows you to collect and share “pins” from different sites you find on the web.  It’s great for recipes, decorating ideas, crafts, etc but what I find most useful are the counseling/play therapy ideas that I find on there.  (It also makes me feel better about the amount of time I waste spend on Pinterest!)  Recently, I tried out one of the ideas that I’ve seen re-pinned countless times- A Mind Jar or Calm Down Jar.  This is a meditative tool that is made with water, glitter glue and glitter.  I’ve always been a fan of snow-globes and this project reminds me of a home-made snow-globe.  I decided to try it out with an adorable little five year old I have been working with this summer named Coleman.  Coleman is extremely bright, but also extremely fidgety.  I thought making a Calm Down Jar might be a good way to help his mind be still for a few moments while he watches the glitter fall.  I meant to test it out at home before I made it with him, but my glitter glue was at my office, so I decided to just make it with him and his mom in session.  I used a washed-out pickle jar and let Coleman pick out the color of the glitter glue.  We decorated the glass jar with his name and a bunch of star stickers, and then set out to make the snow-globe part.  Together we warmed up some water in the microwave and started making our concoction.   It worked okay at first, but the glitter was moving pretty quickly,  so I decided to put in some white tacky glue (as I had read online that this helps thicken up the water).  Unfortunately, that did not work and only made a cloudy mess of the jar.   I sent Coleman and his mom home with the jar and encouraged them to try making a better batch at home. Boy did they ever!  When they returned the next week, this is what they brought with them.


  When they got home, they found some gold glitter and Coleman thought it looked like pirate’s treasure.  He wanted his mind jar to have a Pirate theme, so mom set out to find some pirate stickers to decorate the jar. She also found different sizes and shapes of glitter, which helps them to fall at different times.  Coleman then decided his jar needed a treasure map, so mom covered up the Vlasic pickle jar cover with some white paper and drew an adorable treasure map on it.  I just LOVE how the jar turned out! This is a picture of the jar before you shake it.  And here is a picture of the jar after you shake it and you are waiting for the glitter (gold) to settle.  The family was initially going to use this as a tool for Coleman to utilize while in time out. However, they found a better use for it.  Coleman has a tendency to interrupt, especially at the dinner table.  Coleman’s parents often can’t get a word in edgewise because he is so busy trying to tell stories about his latest adventure. They now use the Mind Jar to help Coleman be patient while mom and dad catch up after a day of work. Coleman shakes the jar and watches  in silence as the glitter falls.  Once it settles and he is sure mom and dad have finished their conversation, he can begin telling his stories.    What a great variation for this relaxation tool.  I just love it when I get ideas from my clients!  I’d love to hear your experience with making a Calm Down Jar of your own.


  1. Ha!!! This post made me crack up. We have NO glitter in my house. None. I told the diretcor of my son’s preschool (and old family friend) that I would gladly make a large donation if they could promise me they would never send another project with glitter home again. She declined the offer. I’m glad you were brave. I’ve been better with getting messy, but I still struggle. Good for you!!!

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