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Jar of Happiness

Formally known as the Glitter Calming Project, our students affectionately call these our Jars of Happiness.

Why?

“Because when you look at it, it just makes you…. happy!”

Materials:

  • A jar, bottle, or container that can be closed securely
  • Fine glitter – any color, can also combine colors for a great effect
  • A small amount of other glitter, if desired – NOTE bigger glitter will fall at a faster rate
  • Distilled water or boiled tap water (cooled to room temp)
  • Corn syrup
  • Clear glue
  • Optional: decorations for the lid or jar when you’re finished!

Instructions:

  1. Make sure your container is clean. Any residue inside the jar can cause clouding.
  2. Fill your container about 1/3 full of clear glue.
  3. Add corn syrup until your container is about 1/2 full.

    LEARNING OPPORTUNITY: Notice the corn syrup and the glue are not mixing with each other. Have your child touch a small amount of each material and make observations about them. If they are both liquids, how are they able to stack on top of each other? Can you figure out which liquid is less dense than the other?
  1. Add your glitter. Here you can use your artistic license. You can’t get this step wrong, so experiment with it and have some fun.

    Remember, larger glitter will fall quicker. Fine glitter gives the jar its color and will remain suspended in the mixture for some time.
  1. Fill the rest of your container with water. Try to fill it to the very top to prevent large air bubbles in your container.

    NOTE: small air bubbles are inevitable in this project, so don’t stress if you see some appear!
  1. Close your container securely.

    I used canning jars and water bottle, and the projects have stayed securely closed even when being played with.

    However, use your best judgment!

    If you have little ones that enjoy opening container, you may want to consider gluing the lid closed. I have used Gorilla Craft Glue (the gel kind) on other projects and it work great!

  2. Shake your jar until all the material is thoroughly mixed
  3. Decorate your container if desired!

Suggested project uses

This project can be used in the following ways:

  • This project is so versatile, it can be used to help teach the following concepts:
    Science: density, mixtures, how objects flow through different densities 
    Math: fractions, measuring (if you have a standard container, give your students measurements to add instead of estimates)
  • This project can also be used as a calming therapy for, well, anyone! Hence, the project’s name. I have placed this jar in brain break stations and used the jars to help promote calm and quiet in a general setting.
  • Simple decoration
  • Other projects of happiness I’ve done with the kids using these instructions:

Discussion suggestions:

Here is a list of things you can talk about while doing this project with your child:

  • The difference between mixtures and solutions, density
  • Colors
  • Concept of large and small. Why bigger glitter will fall faster than smaller glitter.
  • The importance of calm, quiet times, feelings and impulse control or calming techniques

Skillset

While working on this project, your child will be practicing the following skills:

  • Gross and Fine motor skills
  • Measuring and estimating
  • Feelings and behavior
  • Listening and Following Directions