Mesmerising to look at, but also a great way for kids to practise mindfulness and mindful exploration.
It's important to let kids know that sometimes we fall into anxious feelings very quickly and we may not have been able to 'catch' our unhelpful thoughts and change them in time. This is where we can use another strategy we learnt, to calm the amygdala first.
I've used glitter bottles in my classroom (during our mindfulness activities) to help my students understand how our thoughts, feelings and actions are all linked.
We had a different colour of glitter for thoughts, a colour for feelings and a colour for behaviours.
We talked about a normal situation such as running late for school. Every time we had different thoughts, feelings or did different things (actions), we gave the bottle a quick shake. Eventually the bottle was very blurred/shaken up.
We talked about how we can make the bottle clear again.
We came to the conclusion that it needed to be STILL.
This was a perfect example for the students of how WE also need to be STILL at times, in order to see things more clearly.
Glitter bottles are an excellent analogy for the thoughts/feelings/behaviours and how these constantly occurring can cause our vision to become cloudy, hence needing to take a moment to be still and mindful.
To make a glitter bottle in two simple steps:
1. Collect a plastic water bottle and add water and glitter
2. Add about a tablespoon sized blob of clear glue. This adds some weight to the glitter and density to the water so that the glitter doesn't all float and it moves through the water more slowly!
Glitter bottles can also be a useful timer for a few mindful breathing moments for a child. Shaking the bottle then taking the time to watch it and practice mindful breathing while the glitter settles is a great calm down strategy.
Katherine Rose, MMA Lead Facilitator and Mindful Me program developer