Mind In A Jar

A Mindfulness Project to Make at Home with Your Kids

By Written by Kristen Wright-Matthews and inspired by "Moody Cow Meditates” by Kerry Lee MacLean August 6, 2017

Are you always telling your kids to “Calm down!” or “Just breathe!”? If so, here is a fun way to teach them how to calm down when they’re upset or overwhelmed. I’ve done this as a girl’s outing in one of the many social groups I belong, but making a MIND JAR can also be fun for children. 


  • To teach children that they can calm their bodies and minds with deep breathing

Supplies needed:

  • Jars (any kind, but canning jars are perfect)
  • Water
  • Glue (for extra enforcement)
  • Glitter (solid or multi-colored)
  • Markers or paint for decorating the lid


  1. Fill the jar with water
  2. Pour in the glitter
  3. Label the jar /Decorate the lid
  4. Seal the jar (add Elmer's glue before closing)

Using the Mind Jar:

Ask your child how he or she feels when angry. They will probably give answers like sad or upset. Next, have them to shake up the jar really fast and explain to them that the glitter moving about symbolizes their emotions that are all over the place when they are upset. Have them to set the jar down and watch the glitter slowly settle in the bottom of the jar. Ask your child  to breathe as this occurs while explaining that we have the ability to calm ourselves down before acting. Instead of crying, hitting, or saying mean things, instruct them to breathe. It will feel good physically and it will not escalate a situation that could be further damaging.

What children need to know and understand is that it is human to get upset, but one should have control over their own bodies. How we respond is very important.

Making it a Practice

•    Practice deep, calming breathing at times when your kids are already calm. Shake the jars, and then breathe calmly while watching the glitter settle.
•    Keep the jars in the kitchen, or at in a special, quiet place where your kids can reach them, and they can get them if they need to use them to calm down.
•    When your children get upset, encourage them to remember this exercise {or go get their jar} ~ and this part will particularly work if you continually use the jars at times when they are NOT mad.