When I was teaching, I used calm jars in my break space. This was a spot in my library where kids could take a break to regain control of themselves, take a brain break, or calm down. A calm jar is a container with glitter that you can shake up and then watch the glitter settle. It really is very calming! I impulse-purchased some glitter at the Target Dollar Spot's St. Patrick's Day section so I decided to make a St. Patty's day calm jar for the babies.
Calm jars are so simple to make. You will need:
- a clear container (water bottle, mason jar, etc.)
- clear glue
- gold and green glitter (I like fine glitter best but if you use different sizes, it will fall differently)
- optional - St. Patrick's Day themed confetti like shamrocks, rainbows, leprachauns
First, remove any labels if you are using a water bottle. VOSS bottles are great for this because they are smooth and the labels peel off easily. You can find VOSS bottles at Target and Whole Foods. I've also seen them randomly at TJ Maxx. There are a few different sizes and both glass and plastic. I only use plastic since my toddlers will be playing with them. The container should be nearly full of water.
Add glue to the water. I started with a tablespoon but added a bit more as I went. The more glue, the slower the glitter will fall.
Then add your glitter. I personally don't think you can be too glittery!I glued my cap on and added gold washi tape for decoration. Then it was all ready to go! The babies have been playing with the jar - shaking it, rolling it, and exploring how it works. It's much more of a sensory toy and distraction for them at this point but I'm hoping it will have a calming effect on them when they are having a tough moment.
Also, I have found it especially helpful during their very wiggly diaper changes! It's very distracting and gives them something to do (shake) and look at.Of course, you can easily make a calm jar in any color by mixing up the glitter colors or by adding food coloring. We are enjoying this St. Patrick's Day theme while we gear up for my mom's St. Patrick's Day brunch this weekend!