DIY Reflection Shakers - Action for Healthy Kids
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DIY Reflection Shakers

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Overview

When experiencing big feelings, it can be challenging for children (and even adults) to return to a relaxed or calm state. One way to work through emotions is through the use of mindfulness practices. Mindfulness supports individuals in bringing attention to the present – reflecting on what’s happening in the body (emotionally and physically), what’s happening around us (the environment) and influence how we interact with others. These DIY Reflection Jars are a fun, low to no-cost sensory-based craft that can help children slow down and reset.   

Take Action

Create your own Reflection Shaker to practice self-management and reset when experiencing big emotions.  

DIY Reflection Shakers: 

Materials needs for all:  

  • Clear bottle or plastic jar (consider upcycling a water bottle or empty plastic pickle jar)  
    • Note: Avoid glass and look for containers with a screw top lid 
  • Filtered/distilled water 
    • Note: This helps to keep your Reflection Shakers mold free!  
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks or super glue  
  • Decorative tape or masking tape  

Sensory Support: Visual  

Glitter Storm  

What you need: 1 bottle of glitter glue, 1 tsp loose glitter  

Make it your own: consider adding beads or confetti  

What you do:  

  • Fill the container half-way with water. 
  • Add the glitter glue and loose glitter.    
  • Fill the rest of the container with water.  
  • Hot glue or super glue a ring on the inside and outside of the lid before and after screwing on.  
  • Wrap in decorative or masking tape.  
  • Shake well and let sit overnight to mix. 

 

Out of this World  

What you need: 1 bottle of glow-in-the-dark glue; hot water*  

Make it your own: consider adding beads that resemble planets or star confetti 

What you do:  

  • Squeeze the glue into the empty container.    
  • Warm up water in the microwave or on the stovetop. Water should be warm to touch but not boiling.  
  • Fill container with water leaving a small space (about an inch) at the top.  
  • Hot glue or super glue a ring on the inside and outside of the lid before and after screwing on.  
  • Wrap in decorative or masking tape.  
  • Shake well and let sit overnight to mix. 

 

Lava Lamp 

What you need: Liquid food coloring, vegetable or olive oil 

Make it your own:  use clear baby oil and oil based food coloring to increase your color options by dying the oil and water different colors 

What you do:  

  • Fill the container half-way with water. 
  • Add a couple of drops of food coloring for desired color. 
  • Fill the rest of the container with oil leaving a small space (about an inch) at the top. 
  • Hot glue or super glue a ring on the inside and outside of the lid before and after screwing on.  
  • Wrap in decorative or masking tape.  

 

I-Spy  

What you need: funnel, rice, lentils or beans (or mixture), small figures/toys, beads, etc. 

Make your own funnel by rolling a piece of paper 

Make it your own: customize your i-spy adventure by using alphabet/number beads or magnets to practice spelling and math, themed toys colors and beads (blue beads, small ocean figurines, water beads for underwater theme), etc.  

What you do:  

  • Fill your container half-way with dry base (e.g., rice, beans, etc.)  
  • Add small items/manipulatives.  
  • Fill the rest of the container with oil leaving a small space (about an inch) at the top. 
  • Hot glue or super glue a ring on the inside and outside of the lid before and after screwing on.  
  • Wrap in decorative or masking tape.  

 

Sensory Support: Auditory  

Rain Stick  

What you need: funnel, sticks, pipe cleaners or cut up plastic straws, 1 cup of rice, beans, lentils, etc.  

Make your own funnel by rolling a piece of paper. 

Make it your own: gather natural materials from your backyard or get creative with different kitchen good (e.g., sprinkles, sugar, etc.). 

What you do:  

  • Add 1 cup of dry base (e.g., rice, beans, etc.) to empty bottle.  
  • Insert sticks, pipe cleaners, straws, etc. into the bottle. These serve as a barrier for the dry base to “rain” over so there should be some space but not too much.  
  • Close the lid.  

Tips

Experiment with different materials and invite children to share their observations. What colors, sounds, movements can you make with different materials.  

Use what you have on hand. If using liquid materials, consider things like hair gel, soap, corn syrup, etc.  If using dry materials, consider things like kitchen dry goods (beans, rice, cereal, sprinkles), sand, dirt, beads, toys, etc.  

Find ways to reduce, reuse, recycle. Upcycle old containers, utilize natural items you have on hand or put to use the last bit of soap before moving on to the next bottle.  

Swap out bottles that use liquid materials and watch for leaks. Rinse off beads and other dry goods for use in a new one.  

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