You have probably seen tutorials for the sparkly, glitter jars making their way across the interwebz. There are hundreds of blogs giving instructions on how to make them, but one thing I noticed is that there is not nearly as much information detailing why to make them or how to effectively use them.
In addition, they are all the sparkle-bottle variety, which is fantastic for us glitter unicorn-loving peeps, but some people don’t like glitter. What?! Hold UP! I couldn’t believe it either, but according to my sources, there are indeed parents who don’t enjoy picking little tiny bits of metallic confetti out of the carpet. So, included in this blog, I have listed three different kinds of meditation jars (and will later post the link to their tutorial because that is all too much for one lowly post) that are sure to be a better compromise and neat little tool for possibly, but not probably, staving off a tyrannical child.
Yes, I am still gonna include a glitter bottle because we do like glitter in this house. And, I am going to give you the why and how lowdown so that this fun craft turns into a useful, yoga-teacher approved method of dealing (for kids, and their parents.)
First up, is the tratak inspired candle jar.
This jar, painted with opaque, shimmery acrylics, uses an electric tealight. Tratak is a form of meditation that involves staring at a single point…such as a light-filled jar. The point is to concentrate on it as you quiet your mind. Young children will probably want to talk about it. That’s okay! Just redirect their focus and encourage them to think about those thoughts quietly as they look at the light. As the light flickers, instruct them to breathe in “big” as the light gets brighter (even electronic tealights have a swelling effect).
The candle meditation is optimal for the evening, obviously. You could even place it on a shelf in their room at bedtime so that they can fall asleep while looking at it and listening to calm music. It is one way to reduce night anxiety and establish a happy sleep routine!
Sequin Meditation Bottle
Next, is the sequin bottle.
The sequin bottle is just a variation of the glitter bottle, but both are used to get kids to chill. They can be used to shush little ones mid-tantrum, but I find them most useful to prevent meltdowns, to increase focus, and to introduce meditation in a way they can understand. Also, they are pretty rad for curing the doldrums when you need them to not raise their voices higher than a librarian decibel.
Adults meditate so that our 60-mile-a-minute thoughts become more like 59 miles a minute. Kids may not always have the pressing worries we have (hello little pieces of mail called ‘bills’), but they certainly have their own issues. We don’t just sit to tune out, we sit in stillness to discern what is valuable and what is not. We can only do that when we have space to breathe, figuratively and literally. So, these bottles physically draw kiddos into just sitting. It’s like training wheels for meditation. Set aside three minutes in the morning to devote to meditating with your sparkle bottles.
Mantra in a Bottle..or Jar
(Note: you will need a die-cut machine such as a Cricut or Silhouette. Or you need to be willing to use scissors pretty intensively.)
Finally, the mantra jar is a little different because you don’t just look at it! It takes a little more effort and is used to monitor thoughts in *insert gasp* writing. It’s a great way to get affirming, inspirational, or even negative, crappy things off your chest. It’s like a “thought jar”. So, decorate your jar with your kiddo’s (READ: your) favorite quotes, words, or sayings and fill it with your thoughts or a goal or something that stood out to you that day.
Sit down and take a deep breath in and as you breathe out, release any tension. (Sometimes, kids like to do this lying down with a beanie baby on their bellies so that they can see their chest move.) Repeat, listening to your breath and feeling your chest rise and fall, three times. Then, take your paper, a pencil, and fill your jar. At the end of each month, empty that jar and imagine your mind emptying those negative thought patterns with the contents. And then, start afresh. Little kids can draw pictures if they are not yet writing.
And as promised, the glitter meditation bottle! Use it the same way as the sequin bottle…or just decorate a shelf with it 😉
Hopefully, you now have some idea how to incorporate these meditation jars into your life and know that they aren’t just for shaking…or are they? Check back for the tutorial and photos and let me know if you have any ideas! How do you use yours? What do you find most beneficial? Share in the comments!