Calming “Glitter” Jars

In the fall of 2014, I read Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick.  The book tells the story of a teen who is institutionalized for three days because she was found cutting herself.  At one point in the book, she gets very upset while talking with her counselor and he hands her a calming jar: a jar of swirling glitter.

I love glitter,

 so I immediately looked it up and found these instructions (I have them to share if you want a copy). I  immediately thought of my teens who were applying for colleges and facing stress. The next time I had a meeting with them I asked if they were interested in making these jars, and they were immediately on board.

Turns out they all love glitter too. I bought some cheap plastic bottles at Target to use instead of the more expensive mason jar. It was a lot of unnecessary work for me, but they turned out okay.


This was such a hit, that I would get random emails from teens asking if they could come in and make some more, for themselves or a gift. I held them off as long as I could, but we made some short jars and they were a lot of fun. This one sits on my desk and I use it a lot.

They loved making these jars so much. They often wondered how they could could take one to school with them. I researched online, found tiny jars and we made them before some left for college and others started school.

iPhone plug for scale
iPhone plug for scale

My teens love glitter so much that one asked if she could send me a glitter bomb (she hasn’t yet) and another sent me this text from college.


Needless to say, this has been one of my most popular programs I have run.  So much so, that we do it at least three times a year and I have seen the jars calm down the teens. One of most active teens made one and just stared at for the rest of the afternoon much to the amusement of everyone else.


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