Post-holiday time can be just as stressful for your mini vacation-revelers – and they can’t even choose to lose themselves in a Pinterest vortex as I did! 😉 With that in mind, we thought we’d share a little meditation activity today for anyone looking for their moment of calm (and extra zen points to get everyone participating). For more quiet mediation fun, add a tabletop winter zen garden to your list of family to-do’s as well.
These magic jars are SO. MESMERIZING. Photographing these literally took 40 minutes longer than it should have due to being caught in a hazy, dazed amazement. Explaining the what, why and how of meditation to kids is one of those things that can quickly spiral into a “what even just happened here…?” moment for everyone.
The idea is that after you shake the jar, you just watch and wait…by the time all the glitter reaches the bottom (I timed mine to take about 1 minute) you will have found your happy place. The great magic of these “magic” jars is that your kids will be teaching themselves the practice before you even get started in on an explanation.
to make your own magic zen meditation jars you’ll need:
Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains a few Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*
- A Jar or Container with a water-tight lid (we used a small glass container)
- Hot Water
- Glycerin (like this kind we used, or Wilton Vegetable Glycerin for smaller amounts)
- Dish Soap
- Biodegradable glitter like this kind via Amazon or this kind via Universal Soul – 2 awesome eco-friendly alternatives to standard ocean-harming glitter!
- Other fun stuff? (i.e. legos, little plastic animals, charms, etc)
These take about 5 minutes, so go crazy and make a bunch. I wanted a smaller, travel-size, travel-safe jar to give to a sweet little biscuit I know who has a fear of riding the bus – but you can use any jar you want (these were about 4″ tall and $2.99 for a set of 4 at our local craft store). Time to start throwing the goods in.
Magic zen meditation jar instructions:
- Fill a small jar with water and add glycerin
Pro tip: the more glycerin you add, the longer it’s going to take the glitter to fall to the bottom – I’m going to give you MY recipe and you can alter accordingly…
Start with 2 parts water (I filled roughly 2/3 of the bottle) and 1 part glycerin (I filled the remaining 1/3 with glycerin).
- Add dish soap
2 drops of dish soap will keeps the glitter from clumping and staying at the top!
- Add glitter
Add Glitter to taste (not
literaally!) 😉 I put in about a tablespoon of regular, fine, and snowflake-shaped).
- Add other fun objects and screw the lid on tight!
This is kind of an anything-goes project – like beads? Put ’em in. Have some Lego people lying around? Yup, into the drink. Old barbie shoes? Sure, yes, let’s do it. Pretty much anything small, durable and light enough can be added. You can also color the water with food coloring. After some test-shakes, if you’re afraid of a mess or your jar isn’t quite water-tight, add some non-water-soluble glue around the rim and screw the lid on tight and let set.
After you’re done putting the jar together, kids won’t even need a prompt for what to do next. Sit back and watch them shake these up then completely zone out watching the swirl-y, glitter-y amazing-ness (like I did). Fun game: see how many of your adult co-workers have exactly the same reaction.
This is a perfect opportunity to explain how these can be used – and actually, there are so many different ways. They can provide a sense of calm and be part of a scheduled time for reflection and quiet. They can represent worries or frustrations – a good shake and some consideration time go a long way to help little ones with those. They’re a perfect time-out timer and can help divert angry energy, reset focus, and switch gears to quell tantrums or dissipate arguments.
For more meditation (& yoga!) ideas for your kiddos, check out our Pinterest board here. Suggestions? Questions? Pictures? Free Hugs? Leave a comment, send us an email or tag us on FB/Twitter/Instagram (@barleyandbirch, #barleyandbirch) !
*A note about Amazon affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Amazon. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click-through to make a purchase, we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!