Our minds are busy! Even when we are perfectly still and feeling relatively calm, we find that our thoughts continue to chatter. This is what Buddhists call “Monkey Mind”. One of the reasons that meditation is a spiritual practice is that it can help us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings.
All ages benefit from taking a deep breath and being “mindful” even if it is only for a moment in a busy day. In this way we train ourselves to be able to find a place of calm even in the midst of challenges or overwhelming feelings.
A Mind Jar is a simple spiritual tool. While watching the glitter swirl, sparkle and settle, your mind, body and spirit will feel calmer. As a parent or caregiver of children, making a Mind Jar together is a way to introduce spiritual practice at home. Download the “Mind Jar Instructions” for what you’ll need, what to do and how to use a Mind Jar. Enjoy!
What you’ll need:
- Mason Jar or Jelly Jar with a top
- Corn Syrup
- Glitter—size and color of your choice! (Fine glitter stays suspended longer.)
- Strong holding glue or duct tape.
What to do:
- Clean the jar and remove any labels
- For this recipe you will need one part water and one part corn syrup.
- Before you start, measure the amount of liquid that fills your jar.
- Heat the water on the stove—do not boil!
- Once it is hot, stir in the corn syrup.
- Let it cool.
- Put the cooled liquid in the jar.
- Add glitter—at least 2 Tablespoons but as much as you wish.
- Secure the jar top with glue or duct tape.
How to use:
- Shake the Mind Jar!
- Put it down on a flat surface like a table or the floor.
- Watch as the glitter settles to the bottom.
- A Mind Jar can be enjoyed any time! You can use it alone, with others or at bedtime for a centering moment.
Special thanks to Kristin Stiles-Hall for sharing her recipe with us (she tried six kinds!) and for teaching Mindfulness in our RE program. Kristin is a member of First Parish in Concord and is a Holistic Integrative Counselor/Healer.
2 thoughts on “Mind Jar for Centering with Kids”
Thanks for sharing this. I have made and used a jar much like this the only difference was that I used a bit more glitter and added small toy figures and miniature objects . The idea was to use it as a hidden object or I spy game or a tool to jumpstart storytelling exercises with people of any age really. I like the simplicity and value of it as you describe. I think I might try playing with a way to add a simple led light inside the jar that could be turned on or off with an external switch. That is a challenge I will pass on to my partner to figure out the logistics of or maybe someone who sees this will have an idea. Just thinking through text- The sun or even a little electric tealight or votive in a darkened room would work perfectly well to give plenty of sparkle. I think you have described a great new “fidget” for restless minds though.
Thanks for sharing your experience and ideas! It is fun to experiment.