When someone says “mindfulness” to you, what do you think of? Sitting quietly? Breathing in and out while counting? While those things can be good mindfulness practices for adults, try telling a child to do that. Or a preschooler. It would be really hard for them. But, we know there are many benefits of mindfulness, even for kids. Mindfulness is a strategy used in ADHD and anxiety treatments. It can lead to better decision-making, more self-control, improved emotion regulation, improved social skills and communication.
Mindfulness involves two things:
- Focusing on one thing at a time.
- Being aware of the current moment.
So, for kids, instead of sitting still and taking deep breaths, give them something fun and tangible to focus on. Try making a glitter bottle. Give it a good shake. It’s pretty satisfying. Watch the glitter slowly fall. Also pretty satisfying, even for adults. For the glitter bottle recipe we use in our house, see below.
Calming Glitter Bottle Recipe:
We use proportions rather than precise ounce measurements so you can make whatever size bottle you want. Always leave a little empty space at the top of the bottle. It lets you test the bottle first and see if you need to add any more water/glitter/glue to adjust how it works.
Glitter Bottle Ingredients:
- Plastic clear bottles (Voss brand work well for older kids and adults or 16.9oz SmartWater bottles work well for little kids – it is what we use)
- 1/5th (or 20%) Elmer’s clear glue
- 4/5ths (or 80%) warm water
- Watercolor/food coloring/washable paint (experiment with the amount, but always start small – too much color will cloud the bottle)
- As much glitter as you want – be sure to include FINE glitter for maximum effect
Heat/warm the water to make mixing easier. Pour Elmer’s clear glue and hot water into a mixing bowl. Add all the glitter you want. This is the time to add any watercolor, washable kids paint, or food coloring. Mix very well with a whisk. Then, pour right away into the water bottle. Make sure to allow the liquid to cool off completely before closing the bottle. Finally, you can go the extra step to glue or tape the cap shut so little ones can’t unscrew it.
What to Do if You Need More Support:
I know there can be a lot of options and recommendations to sift through when it comes to kids with anxiety or ADHD. And it can be really overwhelming at times, especially when you’re thinking about things for the long-term. So, I’ve got all the most important ideas about raising a child with ADHD or anxiety in a series of comprehensive online Masterclasses. My Child ADHD class goes through how to get more clarity on what kids with ADHD need, ideas for how to deal with really big emotions, create supportive routines and habits that make sense for your family, and how to have that close relationship with your child even when things are hard and frustrating. So, if you need more support in a clear and actionable way, I recommend you check out the Masterclasses page next.