June 16, 2018 by Cyndi Hamann
Program Title: Glitter Jars
Target Age Range: Teens, Grades 6 & Up
Program Length: 60 minutes
Brief Description: De-stress and make a Glitter Jar!
Glass Jars (they must hold water without leaking)
CLEAR School Glue
Glitter of Various Shapes and Colors
Items to stir with (spoons)
Permanent Markers (many colors)
The cost will depend on how many of these supplies you have on hand, or can get donated. I asked staff to save glass jars (salsa, tomato sauce, etc.) so I didn’t need to purchase anything, but glue and glitter.
Ask staff (or community members) to save their glass jars.
Prepare warm water. I just used warm water from the tap and filled plastic glasses. I also put all the supplies out on tables for the teens.
- I had prepared written instructions for the teens, but also gave them a verbal run down of how to make a glitter jar. I had 2 stations set up, a glitter jar station and a decorate your glitter jar station. Teens could choose where they wanted to start, though, when one station filled they had to go to the other.
- When teens started to create their glitter jars, I would explain the steps. We would then discuss what makes a good glitter jar, why more glue means it takes longer for the glitter to settle (density, viscosity), why the water needed to be warm (dissolving), etc.
This is where the science comes in. These teens came thinking this was an art/craft program, and probably left thinking the same thing, but along the way learned some science.
- Set your jar in a large bowl (I used some storage tubs and mixing bowls).
- Fill jar about half full with warm
- Squeeze about ¼ bottle of clear glue into the water in your jar.
- Stir the water and glue quickly and carefully until everything in the jar is one consistency.
- Add glitter to the jar. You’ll want to add a bunch. Adding glitter of different sizes or colors can add dimension to your jar.
- Add 1 drop of food coloring.
- Stir the food coloring and glitter into the water. Check the distribution of water and glitter: if it doesn’t seem like there is enough glitter, this is a good time to add some more.
- Slowly add water to the jar until it is completely full.
- Put the cap on very If you aren’t sure, ask your neighbor to check.
- Give your Glitter Jar a shake over a bowl, or sink to ensure it won’t leak. If it doesn’t leak…
- Enjoy your Glitter Jar.
Forgot why warm water is better science middle school science class? This website explains dissolving in liquids.
What we would do differently:
Ensuring that the teens did all their mixing in other containers. I did put a tarp down, but it wasn’t necessary this time. This was a fun program, but it would also do well during finals time for high school students. I strongly recommend staying away from the glitter glue jars – being able to use warm tap water as opposed to near boiling water saved a lot of headaches and made the teens much more self-sufficient during the whole process. When I was testing the glitter jars before the program, I tried white school glue, which did not work. The clear glue is the way to go.
Adaption for older/younger audience:
I think this would adapt well for younger audiences, though, you would likely want more staff and/or caregivers involved.