Friday, June 1, 2012

Seeking Calm with Bottles of Gooey Glitter

I'm still on my quest for balance.  First it was the Zen Garden.  Now, it's the calm-me-jar. 

I took some regular ol' bottles, some glitter glue, and some glitter.

And I made fantastic jars of joy!

Some people call them mind-jars.  Some call them calm-me-jars.  I call them awesome.

They are all over Pinterest, of course.  The first ones I saw came from Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources.  I loved the size of those for my little one's little hands.  Then I saw these 'relax bottles' from My Crazy Blessed Life.  I used those two references to make my bottles-o-sparkle.  If you need some more examples, there's this mind jar from Here We Are Together.  And yet another example from Still Life With Circles.

So what do you do with calm-me-jars?

Well..... you hold them.

.... and look at them.

And you magically calm down.

Which makes all the mothers happy, yes?

I don't know quite how it works, but I do know that it works on me too.  I've been mesmorized by Big Green since I made her. 

She sparkles in such a hypnotic way.

The Blue one I used silver glitter glue with blue glitter. 

It actually looks like stars twinkling in a midnight sky.  Just writing that sentence calms me down.

It's nothing new.  My sister had one of these water droplet spinner thingies when we were kids.  I would stare at this thing forever.  I wouldn't just stare, either.  I would play with it.  I would hold it in just a way so that it made one great big bubble, then watch it slide down the ramps.

These calm-me-jars work the same way.  You can shake them up, swirl them, let them settle and turn them upside down and watch the goo's beautiful dance.  My daughter likes to leave them upside down. 

Once I started thinking about the amazing yet simple joy of a bottle full of glitter, I started thinking of all kinds of applications.  Use them in a time in or time out situation.  Use them as timers - my bottles take approximately four, six, and 11 minutes to settle.  They don't even look bad when they've completely settled.  I may just keep mine on the table as an interactive centerpiece. 

Use them as a distraction - like when you're trying to untangle a sensitive head of curls or sitting in a doctor's waiting room.  Since my daughter was recently in the hospital, I naturally thought that using them in a hospital setting is kind of genius.  Kids do so much waiting in hospitals, much of it not in their room.  This is a wonderful, portable prop to keep kids busy.  It could also be used to distract them or help them stay calm during difficult procedures like blood draws and shots.

The possibilities are endless, although I wouldn't recommend using them for all of the above.  You don't want to overdo it and lose the 'magic.'

So there you go.  Water + glitter + glue =


**UPDATE**  I thought of another application: teeth brushing timer! I have a daughter who is less than keen about brushing her teeth.  I can't blame her, I was the same way as a child, and it's still not one of my favorite activities as an adult.  Shaking up a fast moving calm-me-jar (3 minutes would be good, I think) and asking her to brush until it settles sure sounds a lot more fun than trying to get her to "brush for three minutes." 


  1. AHHH!! I love this!! I'm so doing this. ♥

  2. How much water? How much glue? Do tell.

    Or...come over here and do it for me. ♥

    1. Well, for Big Green, I used the entire bottle of green glitter glue, the entire tube of green glitter, a few tablespoons of blue gel glue, and a few drops of green food coloring. It settles in a perfectly relaxing 11 minutes. The more glue you add, the slower the glitter will settle. Only fill the bottle up about 3/4 with water at first, you can always add more later. And use hot water to melt the glue! I wish I could come over and do it for you. ;-) Let me know how they turn out! <3

  3. Ooooh, these for time out/in, I like that idea!!

    1. For child AND mom! Danley has actually already asked to use it when she has gotten upset and needs a little calming. :-D

  4. Is there a time limit, Leah, like does the glue eventually harden up, or does the combination of glue and water and all the other things cause it to stay gelled when the bottle remains sealed?

    1. I'm not sure. None of the tutorials I've found have addressed that very good question! I do notice that when it's been sitting for a while, it does look a little clumpy, but it all goes back again when you shake it. I glued my lids shut, so there's no chance of my curious 21 month year old chugging it. :)


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