I want a calm jar for my child!

You still haven't heard of the calm jar? In this article you will discover this revolutionary idea from Maria Montessori and how to make a calm jar of your own.
I want a calm jar for my child!

Last update: 23 December, 2017

Have you ever felt that you lose control of your child’s upbringing when, in the middle of a tantrum or a meltdown, he or she begins to cry desperately and inconsolably? If you still haven’t found the way to calm your child down immediately, don’t worry and don’t distress… There’s a secret you should consider: The calm jar.

The calm jar is a very simple but effective concept – a tried and true method designed by  the well-known Italian educator, Maria Montessori. In this article you will learn about the benefits of the calm jar and how to make this useful tool yourself, in order to react effectively when faced with your child’s distress.

What exactly is the calm jar?

The calm jar is much more than just a revolutionary idea for calming children down when they are having a tantrum. It’s also an interesting tool for calming down parents, who can then put a stop to their child’s overwhelming behaviors with this Montessori idea.

In and of itself, this fascinating, curious and effective tool works in a way similar to that of yoga, meditation, and the practice of staring at a candle flame. In other words, it is a technique that can control stress and and help to clear the minds of both children and adults.

The calm jar is a simple plastic jar filled with water, glue, and glitter. A child or adult who is feeling succumbed to sadness, crying, stress or anger, can shake the calm jar and feel soothed and distracted by attentively observing the beauty of the glitter and its various shapes.  

At the same time, while your little one is using the calm jar, you can help him or her to bring his temper down by speaking in a calm and kind tone, expressing plenty of love and affection. Another good complement to the calm jar is to suggest that your child breathe in deeply and exhale slowly.

using the calm jar with your children

The most surprising characteristic of this outstanding object is that it doesn’t only work to handle acute, temporary tantrums. It also has long term effects, given that it slowly makes your child aware of his or her own breathing.

And of course, every time your child feels overwhelmed, he will reach for the calm jar for relief.

What’s the best part of this do-it-yourself craft?

The calm jar is just the opposite of a punishment. It is a therapeutic tool that distracts and calms your child while helping him with his concentration and breathing. It also allows your child to go back to having a good time once he has gotten past his frustration.

What are the benefits of the calm jar?

On the one hand, the creator of the calm jar, Maria Montessori – the first woman in Italy to have a doctorate in medicine – explained that this invention allows little ones between ages two and five to organize their central nervous system on a concrete stimulus. 

On the other hand, science has demonstrated that, when children feel stressed, both their heart beat and their breathing speed up, and at the same time, their minds become blocked.

In other words, they go blank. But, if the child can concentrate on the glitter as it slowly falls within the jar, an order from the brain unconsciously lowers the level of agitation that he or she is experiencing.

In other words, the calm jar has demonstrated that there is a certain relationship between this visual pattern and a sense of calmwhich is capable of stimulating the child’s ability to concentrate and stabilize energy levels.

For that very reason, the calm jar is also recommended for travel time or for any moment that requires prolonged waiting.

This miraculous calm jar is so effective when it comes to relaxing the mind that it can be a source of great hope for those parents whose children are overactive or constantly on the move.

However, you should be careful when choosing a container, making sure it is of an appropriate size and material according to your child’s age and ability.

I want a calm jar for my child! How do I make one?

how to make a calm jar at home

Without a doubt, by now you are asking yourself how to go about making your own calm jar. Here you will find out what materials you will need and what steps you will have to follow. And you’ll discover how easy making a calm jar actually is!

Remember to use attractive materials, bright colors, and a jar that’s not too large or heavy for your child. 


  • A clear plastic container with a lid
  • 2 tablespoons of glitter glue
  • 4 teaspoons of glitter (your choice of color)
  • 1 drop of food coloring
  • Hot water
  • Clear children’s shampoo
  • Hot glue gun


  • Mix the materials together in the jar, leaving a little bit of space at the top to allow the ingredients to move around inside. 
  • Include toys or miniature figures inside the jar (stars, animals, hearts, etc). Another alternative is to add fluorescent colored paint. At all times, be sure that none of the ingredients are toxic.
  • Glue the lid to the container with the glue gun, making sure that it is completely sealed and firmly closed to avoid any leaks or spills. That’s it! Your calm jar is ready to use!

What about you? Have you already put the calm jar method to the test? Don’t wait another second! Your child will love it, and you will be pleasantly surprised by its effectiveness.

Any element that makes for a happier and healthier childhood for our little ones is well worth it !

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.