Meditation in a Bottle

Create a personalized bottle filled with slow-moving glitter – and a heavy dose of calm.

About the Activity

Between school, homework, and activities, life can be busy and may sometimes feel overwhelming. That’s why it can be good to pause, take a deep breath, and relax our minds and bodies – or in other words, to meditate. Meditation helps reduce stress and can get you in the right mindset to focus – which can be helpful at home and at school. In this activity, you will make your own meditation bottle as a tool to help make meditation a habit.

Grades: 6-12
Topic: Mental Health, Mindfulness
Time: 30 minutes

Brought to you by The Allstate Foundation and Ohio State University Extension

A boy meditating outside

These simple materials will get you started:

  • Plastic bottle with cap
  • Clear glue or glitter glue
  • Glitter – use multiple colors and sizes for an interesting bottle
  • Hot Water
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  • Spoon
  • Large liquid measuring cup
  • Funnel
  • Hot glue gun (optional)

Activity Steps
Follow these activity steps to create your own meditation bottle and practice.

Ready Your Bottle
If there is a label on your plastic bottle, remove it. Part of meditation is learning to focus your attention, and having a clear, clean bottle will help you to do that. Take note of how many ounces your bottle holds.
Did You Know? Meditation focuses on interactions between our brain, mind, and body. It has been around for thousands of years and began in ancient India as a way to understand the meaning of life.

Four bottles of glitter

Create Your Meditation Mixture
This next step involves creating a mixture for the inside of your bottle.

  1. Heat up water in a tea kettle or microwave. It should be warm, but not boiling.Have an adult help you heat up the water, then pour it into your liquid measuring cup. You need to add one less ounce of water than your bottle will hold.
  2. Add your glue to the hot water and stir until it dissolves. You can choose how much glue to add.Tip: The more glue you add, the slower the contents of your meditation bottle will move. We recommend adding between a half bottle to a full bottle of glue.

Add Your Elements
Now it’s time to create your focal point using your bottle, glue mixture, and glitter.

  1. Use the funnel to pour enough water and glue mixture into your bottle to just cover the bottom. This will prevent all your glitter from sticking to the bottom of the bottle.
  2. Add your glitter to the bottle. You can use as much or as little as you would like. Using multiple colors and sizes of glitter will make your bottle more interesting. You can even add large sequins or beads for extra decoration.
  3. Fill the bottle with the water-glue mixture. There may be some extra mixture left. Feel free to discard it.
  4. Optional: With the help of an adult, hot glue the cap onto your bottle to prevent spilling.

Set Your Practice
Now, it’s time to meditate. Practicing meditation can help us stay calm, reduce stress, and improve our overall well-being. In fact, many medical studies have shown that meditation can help reduce high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and chronic stress.

  1. Find a quiet location where you can sit comfortably.
  2. Shake your bottle and set it in front of you.
  3. Use your meditation bottle as a timer to help you relax and focus.
  4. As you watch the glitter settle, focus on your breath by following these steps:

  • Breathe in through your nose while slowly counting to three.
  • Hold your breath while slowly counting to four.
  • Exhale through your mouth while slowly counting to five.
  • Repeat this breathing exercise until all the glitter has settled to the bottom of your bottle.

Tip: You may feel a bit silly at first, but part of meditation is keeping an open mind while you get used to it.

Did you know? Most meditation practices follow the four basic elements we have reviewed: quiet location, comfortable posture, focused attention, and an open attitude.

Set Your Mantra
Now that your body is relaxed, shake your bottle again.

  1. This time, instead of focusing on your breath while you watch your bottle, make a mental list of positive things about yourself. Here are some examples:

  • What do you like about yourself?
  • What skills have you mastered?
  • What are your dreams for the future?
  1. Remind yourself that you are capable, strong, and loved. You can also come up with a mantra for yourself.

What’s a mantra? A mantra is a word or phrase that you focus on or repeat to yourself during meditation. You can say it aloud or in your head. Using a mantra can help boost your self-confidence or provide encouragement.
Here are a few examples to try:

  • “I think I can.”
  • “Today is a good day.”
  • “Happy and healthy.”

This type of practice is called transcendental meditation.

Did you know? There are different types of meditation, including transcendental meditation, which we just tried. Yoga is a popular type of meditation and exercise. Yoga uses controlled poses and breathing techniques to help gain strength, flexibility, and concentration. Tai Chi is a type of martial art from China that is used for meditation. It involves slow, graceful movements and deep breathing.

Reflection Questions
Questions to deepen wonder and understanding.

  1. How did you feel when using your meditation bottle to focus your attention and breathe?
  2. What different types of meditation do you know about? Which type would you like to try?
  3. How can meditation help improve your health?
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Investigate and Explore
Take what you’ve learned to the next level to learn more and explore the possibilities.

Meditation can help improve our health and happiness, and making it a daily habit is one step you can take to create a healthier you!

Daily habits are actions that we do every day to make ourselves better. Things like brushing our teeth, washing our hands, and eating fruits and vegetables are daily habits that we learn as a toddler to keep us healthy. For an action to become a habit, you have to do it over and over again each day.

You can build a habit of meditation by using your meditation bottle for a few minutes every day. Try picking a specific time, like when you wake up or right before you go to bed. This will help you remember to meditate, and soon it will become a habit!

A person meditating

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