Yoga for Kids: Mindfulness Jars
Yoga Mindfulness Jars are a fun and pretty way to help teach kids how to handle their emotions. They can help kids calm down and focus when they are struggling, and are great tools to help start the conversation about being mindful or "watching our thoughts". The idea is, the glitter represents our thoughts and feelings. Here's a little script as to how you can explain the mindfulness jar teaching to your kids, and even more importantly, how you can prompt them to use the jar to help them feel calm.
(Start with the jar still with all the glitter settled in the bottom)
"Notice the glitter in the jar. The jar represents our brains and bodies, and the glitter represents our thoughts and feelings."
"When we wake up in the morning, we haven't had much time to experience a lot of feelings, so our mind is clear and we are like the jar - settled"
"Then maybe at breakfast something makes you mad (shake the jar), and then you get to school and you are really excited to see your friends (shake the jar), by the time you get to the classroom your thoughts and feelings are swirling around in your body and your brain - how would you feel?"
"How can you get back to the settled and calm place from the morning?"
"By becoming still and letting go of some of our thoughts and feelings - just not getting to stuck on them - we can feel a lot more calm and settled, which makes it a lot easier for our brain and body to work the way we want them to."
"Our thoughts and feelings are always there, but we can choose to keep stirring them up and stay mad, frustrated, or really excited, or we can choose to let those feelings go so we can feel a bit more calm."
"What are some ways we can practice letting our feelings and thoughts settle down? Try breathing deeply, watching the glitter fall to the bottom, imagining the glitter as your thoughts and feelings - by the time all the glitter has settled maybe your feelings will be too!"
How to make the Mindfulness Jar:
- A mason jar, or other type of glass jar or container that can be closed tightly
- Glitter Glue
- Loose Glitter
1. Add glitter glue to the jar - I used about 1 and a half glitter pens for this
2. Add loose glitter to the jar - you can use different colors to represent different types of thoughts and feelings. (It's helpful to use the glue and loose glitter because the loose glitter will take longer to fall to the bottom and the glue will fall more quickly)
3. Add really warm water to the jar (warm to break up the glue) and stir and shake to dissolve the glue. (I found the glitter was rising to the top the first few times I shook the jar, but after that it fell to the bottom)
4. Have the kids decorate the lids of the jar to make it special for them!