Just like adults, children experience difficult emotions. When little humans feel frustrated, overwhelmed, or stressed, it's tempting for parents to focus on correction rather than connection. But expecting children to naturally know how to regulate their emotions and responses is unrealistic... what they really need is guidance.
Calm down jars offer a moment for children to redirect, regroup, and re-regulate. While there are many tutorials online for calm down jars, many of them use wasteful and non-earth friendly products. We keep ours simple and focused on the whole child experience. Including everyone in the process, we fill a re-used glass jar with mindful activity options for children to do when they need connection. Each child offers ideas, and together we all agree what exactly goes into the jar.
When a child starts experiencing those tough feelings, we validate their emotions, and then gently lead them to the jar to remind them that they have special activities waiting.
At this moment, our jar is filled with these activities:
- hold my favorite crystal
- ground like a tree
- draw a thoughtful picture
- collect nature treasures
- read a beautiful book
- shake our emotions out (dance)
- drink a glass of cool water
- draw an animal card
Mindful activities are easily adaptable to the child’s age, development, and needs. Our calm down jar is often updated to reflect the season of our lives. Are you incorporating mindfulness in your child’s life?