Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery

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Mindfulness Resources

Glitter Jars

Feeling stressed? Try making a calming Glitter Jar! 

Life can be stressful, and when you layer in the pandemic, it can be even more so. 

Many kids staying at the Nursery have experienced trauma or chronic stress, which can result in feelings like acute anger, confusion, sadness, or other feelings that make it hard to cope. We practice mindfulness with the kids in lots of different ways to help them calm down and reduce stress. 

One of the most effective (and fun!) ways we do this is by making and using Glitter Jars. When kids are feeling overwhelmed, it helps to name those feelings and what’s causing them while swirling the jar. This helps them connect their feelings to the visual chaos of the shaken-up glitter. Then, if they practice being still, the glitter falls to the bottom, begins to settle, and soon things are calm and clear again. It’s a meditative, calming activity that really works. 

While we use Glitter Jars as a mindfulness tool for kids, it’s also a great way for adults to reduce stress as well. Want to try it with your kids or for yourself? Here is our recipe for the Nursery Glitter Jar.

What you’ll need: 

Voss plastic water bottle, 330 or 500 ML size (no glass jars!)
Glitter (extra fine works well but any glitter will do)
Karo (or other brand) light corn syrup OR Glycerin
Food coloring (optional)
Dish soap
Warm water
Permanent glue


  1. Empty the water bottle and peel off the stickers.
  1. Add glitter to the bottle – about half an inch.
  1. Fill 1/3 of bottle with corn syrup or glycerin.
  1. Fill remaining 2/3 of bottle with warm water. (Make sure it’s not boiling hot or it will melt the plastic.)
  1. Add 2 drops of dish soap. (It helps disperse the glitter.)
  1. Optional: add a few drops of food coloring. Avoid dark colors because it can make it hard to see the glitter.
  1. Make sure that the bottle is filled up to the brim, or else the glitter won’t flow nicely when you shake it.
  1. Seal the top with permanent glue. Using a hot glue gun, Gorilla Glue or Super Glue, apply a thin line of glue around the interior circumference of the cap and the top rim of the bottle.

Shake, watch, and relax.