We are getting ready to make new calming jars using water, glitter, and water beads (orbies). You can add hard beads too for another added lesson. I use these to teach my kids about emotions! They will make their own jar to make it personal! The reason I find this idea so fascinating is because our children can learn from the stories they read and relate more to the people in the stories! It helps them learn more about their emotions through play! They can begin to understand more about compassion for other people and how other people feel too!
Let’s get started! It’s time to fill our kiddy pool with water beads for fun! I love bubbles and water beads because it makes learning exciting and fun! The love for learning is so very important! This is an amazing time to have brothers and sisters learn new things in play! I also like blowing Bubbles too! It’s a great regulation tool used to help my kids see a physical example of what’s going on inside them. When they feel frustrated, have them take a deep breath and blow lots of bubbles in the air. Every time they take a deep breath and blow out to make a bubble, helps them calm down. This fun exercise will help them feel better! My daughter likes to do this with gum, because she can’t take bubbles everywhere she goes.
I love using calming jars while reading stories to my children! They will use their calming jar for each character in the story! It’s especially awesome when reading bible stories to my children. It helps them see how each person in the Bible is real and had feelings like you and me! As they watch the glitter slowly settle to the bottom of the jar, have them talk or draw about what happened and why the person in the story felt sad, mad, frustrated, happy or excited! Letting them know asking questions are good! We talk about how in our life it’s better to talk about what’s going on instead of holding on to them!
Then, I brought in water beads in the story! You can touch and hold water beads, and all kids love them because they’re awesome! I love this tangible part of the story because they can see each color bead and touch them too! It’s a visual and physical way to help kids see and feel with their fingers what emotions look like while talking about what they feel like! They can use different colored water beads to name what happened to cause them to feel sad or mad in the story! Then I relate what’s going on to how they might feel in their shoes! When they feel sad, hurt, angry, confused, frustrated and more, they can easily see them by holding the water beads in their bands in hopes to talk about what happened. After shaking the calming jar, I remind them that emotions aren’t bad and getting angry isn’t wrong! It’s the action we choose to do with how we feel that can lead to consequence! When the glitter clouds the water, it’s harder to see (not sober minder or clear). The water beads dancing around in the jar but you can identify what happened yet! It’s because you need to be calm, so you can hear, see, and understand what happened. This is a good time for them to practice what to do when they struggle with their feelings by using their calming jars at home. For example, if your sister lost all your LEGO pieces after it took you a week to build a castle, or your brother took your turn when you waited for an hour to play! Another problem would be you got in trouble for something you didn’t do! What action you choose to do with your feelings can either be good or not! It’s an opportunity to practice good habits when you’re young, stop what you’re doing, breathe, and pray! I love to challenge my kids by blowing bubbles without popping a single bubble! They can’t even blow them away from the floor, which is a hard thing for kids to do. It’s an awesome exercise practicing love, self-control and patience which is a few of the fruit of the spirit! Galatians 5:23-24, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”This exercise is about not putting action to your anger! 1. Stop 2. Breathe 3. Pray, which means 1. Quick to listen 2. Slow to speak 3. Slow be angry! Most of the bubbles pop on their own, because they exercised listening to each other, and slow to speak! James 1:19, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” If they popped the bubbles that means they were quick to be angry or speak, which means they listened last! Anger is not a sin, but what you do with your anger can lead to sin! When we listen, we are being patient with each other! We love God and others by living out what God says! Luke 10:27, “He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
As the glitter settles to the bottom choose to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to be angry! Most situations melt away as we become good listeners, and looking at each other as important as ourselves! Philippians 2:3,”Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” Matthew 7:12,”So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” They can sit there and watch the glitter slowly settle down to the bottom of the jar! It gives them something to manage (holding jar) as they process their emotions. The water beads are a reminder that they need to pray and talk to God, their parents or trusted adults about what is going on to help you through things their struggling with, because we don’t have to do this alone! 1 Peter 5:7-8, If Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” It’s important you don’t ignore what’s going on, it could cause you to be quick to get angry and use words to hurt or hit and even punch! If it builds up over time, then it starts to get buried deep inside! It would become like the hard beads in the calm jar, if you chose to add them in!
It’s important to not ignore your feelings and to practice praying and talking about it! My kids love to draw and write out how they feel too! Ephesians 4:26-27, “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” With my older kids, we talk about how we need to pray when hurtful words or thoughts try to invade the mind! Each water bead would be a thought or word that you line up to what God says about you. I read Psalm 139 and remind them how deeply God loves them! When you’re older it will be harder to work through unexpected things if you practice holding them in or ignore your hurt! It builds up inside of you and clouds your thinking over time! When the jar is cloudy, wait until you are calm to talk things out because it’s hard to see, hear or understand clearly when your feelings are cloudy like the jar! During this time, praying, thinking and talking about everything that happened while the glitter slowly settles to the bottom! This is a hands-on learning example on how our emotions can cause even adults to react either instead of responding in love and respect. Our responses need to come from a sound and clear mind. As the glitter settles to the bottom of the jar, you can see, hear, and think more clearly as you pray through what is happening.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”