Focusing on emotional development should be at the heart of any early childhood education whether in the home or a school setting. I take a lot of care to provide ample amounts of time for us to explore our emotions with games and tools like The Hug Jar and The Feelings Chart. Lately I have been reading a lot about the importance of mindfullness, children and schools. I created the Happy Thoughts Relaxation Sensory Jars as a tool for children (and adults) to focus on being mindful and happy.
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you to CraftProjectIdeas.com for providing us with the beautiful array of glitter bottles.
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE HAPPY THOUGHTS RELAXATION SENSORY JARS
plastic bottles, 1 per person (I love the look of these VOSS plastic water bottles)
clear glue, 1/2 bottle per person
variety of beads (I like these animals beads,alphabet beads and assorted plastic beads)
liquid watercolors or food coloring
low temp glue gun
fine motor development
gross motor development
HOW TO MAKE THE HAPPY THOUGHTS RELAXATION SENSORY JARS
Prior to introducing the activity gather all the materials you will use. I organized the beads in a chip tray. Next I gave each child a water bottle and explained that we were going to fill their jars with happy memories. My children’s instincts were to begin to take handfuls of beads and start stuffing them into the jars. I stopped them and explained that we were going to slow down and really look at each bead and think about what makes us happy. I modeled by saying “I’m adding this light green bead because it reminds me of the flowers at my wedding. I’m adding 5 hearts to remind me of the five people in our family.” Then I put the beads in the jar. We took the time to talk to each other as we looked at the beads and filled our jar with happy memories. Not only were my children interested in filling their own jars, but they did a great job listening to the ideas of others.
Once we added all our happy thoughts I asked my kids to think of a color that makes them happy. We added 1/2 bottle of clear glue and warm water to almost the top of the bottle. The clear glue will keep the glitter and beads from settling immediately when the bottle is shaked. The more glue the longer the contents take to settle. Next have the child add a few drops of his favorite liquid watercolor. And the grand finale, a generous amount of the child’s favorite glitter. Using a glue gun secure the top onto the bottle. I found it works best to add the glue to the bottom rim of the bottle top and the screw it on.
Now comes the fun! Whenever my children want or need a happy reminder they can just take their bottles off the window sill, give them a shake and focus on all the happy memories. Taking the time to watch the glitter settle is a wonderful tool for relaxation.
We just love these! Happy Thoughts Relaxation Jars are the perfect tool to put your child in charge of his emotions. Children can shake the bottles as much as they choose and then let them settle. Shake and repeat as many times as make them happy!