If you've ever talked with a Momentous Institute staff member, you've probably heard us talk about the glitter ball. It’s one of our favorite strategies when working with kids (and adults). We got this idea from Susan Kaiser Greenland in her book, The Mindful Child.
A glitter ball is exactly what it sounds like – a ball filled with water and glitter. When we shake it up, it becomes cloudy and hard to see through. If we take a minute to let the glitter settle, we can clear our minds and be calm and make good decisions.
Watch Momentous School students Jocelyn and Sahai describe the glitter ball in this short video:
Here’s what we say to kids as we do this activity:
Look at the glitter jar. It is like your brain. Now shake it up! This is your brain when you are really excited, scared, angry, happy, sad, or feeling any BIG emotion. Wow! Look at all that glitter. It is hard to see clearly. Do you think that when our brains are like this that we are able to make good decisions? Do you think we are able to learn and use our brains when there is glitter everywhere?
So, what do we need to do? (The kids will say, “Let the glitter fall!”) That’s right, we need that glitter to settle. Let’s hold it really steady. Let’s take some breaths together. Breathe in. Breathe out. Wow, look at the glitter settle at the bottom. Now let’s look through. Can you see to the other side? Do you think our brains are ready and able to learn now? Take a look and see that the glitter is still there. Our big emotions don’t just go away. We still carry them with us. But now we know how to settle our glitter and get our brains thinking clearly. Now we are ready to do our best thinking!