Welcome to 2016! We have so many exciting things planned for this year – a new website is coming, new spring designs, new collaborations, new surprises in the store and, of course, BRAND NEW posts. Wow. So much going on.
With all the new in the new year, I’ve spent the last few days floating on a cloud of excitement and anticipation…but…(shhh…I’m whispering this part…) now that the week has REALLY begun… and I’ve finished twirling around the room shrieking and giggling…and I’ve played with all my new toys…and all the company has left…is anyone else starting to feel a familiar little pang of worry creep in? Anyone else get back to work and start to feel….overwhelmed…? Was your first day back in the routine a little…chaotic…?
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. 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).
Magic Zen Meditation Jars
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 be teaching themselves the practice before you even get started in on an explanation.
- A Jar or Plastic Container with a water-tight lid (we used a small plastic container)
- Hot Water
- Dish Soap
- 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.
Pro tip: the more glycerin you add, the longer its going to take the glitter to fall to the bottom – I’m going to give you MY recipe and you can alter accordingly….
2 parts water (I filled roughly 2/3 of the bottle)
1 part glycerin (I filled the remaining 1/3 with glycerin)
1 or 2 drops of dish soap (this keeps the glitter from clumping and staying at the top)
Glitter to taste (I put in about a tablespoon of regular, fine and snowflake-shaped)
This is kind of an anything-goes project – like beads? Put ’em in. Have some Lego people laying 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 to use them. They can provide a sense of calm and be time for reflection and quiet. They can represent worries or frustrations – a good shake and some consideration time goes 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.
As much as we would LOVE to take credit for this idea, we were inspired by Angie Yingst and Kaley Ann – check them out for some more good ideas and happy thoughts! Happy New Year and cheers to learning ways to steal moments of chill in 2016 – 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) !
PS – hey, you guys…? We’re so happy to start the new year with you…thanks for sticking around