SPARKLERS / Ready for learning

Glitter Timers

A tool that supports tamariki to feel settled and calm.
Connections with the NZ Curriculum and Mental Health Education Guide (learn more)

Learning outcomes

Tamariki create a glitter timer and understand how this can be used as a calming anchor during mindful breathing,

He aha ai? – Why we love it

Fun to make and ever-popular, glitter timers promote mindfulness by giving tamariki a calming visual ‘anchor’ for mindful breathing – focusing on calm breathing while the glitter timer settles.

Whether kept in the classroom or taken home, glitter timers can help tamariki find calm when they feel upset or anxious, supporting them to relax and calm down.

What you'll need

You may like to ask for some parent helpers - especially with young tamariki.!

To make glitter timers, you'll need:

  • One plastic bottle or jar per student, with the label removed.
  • Clear paste – wallpaper paste is a great option, and cheap!
  • Hot (but not boiling) water
  • A whisk
  • A mixing bowl/jug with a pouring spout (or a regular bowl and funnel)
  • Glitter
  • Super glue
  • Optional: sequins, beads, shells, plastic jewels, tiny plastic toys etc.
  • Optional: Food colouring (1-2 drops per bottle to ensure the contents remains visible)

Hei mahi - What to do

Ensure bottles and jars are clean, with the labels removed. Then:

  1. Make your liquid, using 20% glue and 80% hot water.
  2. Whisk well, then add glitter and the sequins, beads, jewels etc.
  3. Whisk again, then pour this into the bottle, leaving 2-3cm at the top.
  4. Add the lid and shake the bottle/jar to ensure it’s working.
    - If the glitter is not moving: pour it back into the bowl, add hot water and whisk well, before returning it to the cleaned out bottle.
    - If the glitter falls too fast: pour it back into the bowl, clean your jar/bottle, then add some more glue to the mix, and whisk well.
    - If it’s globby, it probably needs more mixing! Vigorous shaking might help or you might need to remove the mixture, heat and stir it.
  5. Leave for five minutes, and if you’re happy with the consistency, super glue the lid in place (to avoid future spills!) and add the student's name.

To round things off, ask tamariki to shake their bottle then put it down, and see if they can wait for the glitter to settle on the bottom before they re-shake it.

This is a good time to encourage tamariki to think about their breathing. Discuss how our minds can sometimes be like the Glitter Timer – mixed up, chaotic and overwhelmed, but by slowing down and breathing we can help our minds to settle and calm in just the same way.

Students might like to take these home and teach their whānau, or add to their Sensory Kete. Make one extra for classroom use too.

More like this

Create Smiley Stress Balls or Sensory Kete.

Find out more about creating a happy (and calm) classroom here

Check out this Sparklers at home resource How to help kids keep calm

Looking after you

Foster the hauora of your kaiako and team

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