Fairy friends near and far,
Guard my worries in this jar.
Looking for a fun and simple craft that will bring a little magic and light to your child’s day? Do you have a child struggling with anxiety or fears? Especially at night? Try making this Fairy Garden Jars that includes sparkly lights. It can be used to help a child cope with their worries, and makes a wonderful night light that you can take anywhere, even camping!
HOW TO MAKE A FAIRY JAR
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Have you ever seen fireflies? It is simply magical to see them dancing through the grasses. As a child I would imagine that they were magical little fairies out dancing on a warm summer night.
Today we are capturing that fairy magic with a special DIY Fairy Garden in a jar that lights up.
This craft project is great for kids that are struggling with anxiety, grief or nightmares. They can help create a special piece that lights up and brings a little magical calmness, confidence and strength, especially during the night. These jars can also be used to help a child feel more brave using a simple technique called a Worry Jar I will share below.
This project can be done by kids from preschool to high school. As always, ensure appropriate adult supervision that is age appropriate.
- Large glass jar, lid optional
- crafting moss
- crafting mushrooms
- fairy garden miniatures, if desired
- small stones or crystals
- fairy lights, battery operated
- cardboard fairy cut outs
First, test your lights. Plug them in and leave them turned on for at least 30 minutes. You want to make sure they don’t get hot. If you have proper LED lights they should not produce any heat.
Start by cleaning out the glass container thoroughly. Washing it with glass cleaner to get a streak free glass helps the fairy lights shine through brightly.
Creating the Fairy Jar
Now it’s time to get creative!
Layer the bottom of the container with crafting moss and pebbles. There is no right or wrong way to do this. You can create one single layer, small collections, or just toss it in randomly.
Once the base is done, add in additional fairy garden accessories to bring life to your piece. You can use miniature mushrooms like you see here, or any other miniatures of your choice.
I actually love the idea of using crystals in these fairy pieces, they add some extra sparkle and the lights really reflect through some types of quartz and other crystals.
You can also embrace your geeky side and include some Lego Minifigs or a small TARDIS, or perhaps a dragon or dinosaur figure. Get creative! Nothing is glued down, so you can reuse all of these materials in future projects.
Time for the magic!
It’s magic time! Time to add the fairies. Place the cardboard fairies in the container. We were able to tuck ours directly into the moss and rocks. If you are worried about your fairy falling over, simply glue it to a rock to give it a stable base before placing it in the jar.
Tip – If you don’t want to buy the cardboard fairies, you can draw your own on black cardstock and cut them out.
Unravel the fairy lights. You can place them directly in the jar or drape them over the sides of the jar or around the base to create a nest for your magical creation.
Now all you need to do is turn on your lights and watch your fairy terrarium glow!
Helping Kids Cope With Anxiety – The Worry Jar
When my son was struggling with severe anxiety, one of the techniques we used very successfully was to “put our worries in a jar”. Also known simply as the Worry Jar Technique.
Your child can do the same thing with these fairy jars or fairy terrariums. When they start to get worried or anxious, have them lift the lid off the jar and whisper their worries or wishes into the jar.
If they can’t articulate their worries or wishes, have them whisper what feelings they are struggling with. For example, they might whisper that they want their upset tummy to feel better (lots of kids will describe their anxiety as an upset tummy) or they can tell the fairies what is bothering them.
They can also write out their worries on a piece of paper and put it under the jar.
Finish by asking the fairies nicely for what you need:
Fairy friends near and far,
Guard my worries in this jar.
How Worry Jars Work
The idea is that the child is giving those worries to the fairies to take care of so they can rest.
If they want to pull out those worries in the future they can. The best way to do this is to set a time when they can take their worries back from the fairies. This can prevent kids from constantly checking on their worries.
By sharing, articulating and putting their worries away, it can help children feel released from those worries and anxieties.
The addition of the fairies to our worry jars adds a magical touch that helps kids feel confident that even those big worries are in good hands under the magical protection of a fairy. With those worries in good hands, kids can rest and feel calmer and more confident.
Using Fairy Jars in the Classroom
In the past we have talked about how teachers can connect with students and help identify mental health concerns through a daily check in process.
To use these fairy jars in the classroom as part of a daily mental health check in, have all the students make their fairy jars. You will want to avoid using the lights for classroom jars, and stick to decorative pieces only. You will also want to use jars with a solid metal lid rather than a glass lid.
Put their names on the lids so you can identify the owner. If unscrewing the lids will be an issue (younger kids may struggle) have slots cut into the lids so kids can just slide their papers into their jars without removing the lids.
Find a place in the classroom where the jars can safely sit for the year. You could even decorate the area to make it extra special.
Daily Check Ins
Every morning provide the kids with a Post It or small piece of paper and have them write how they are feeling. See our Mental Health First, School Second piece for more information on how teachers can use a daily mental health check in for their students.
Have the kids put their paper with their worries, feelings or emotions into their jar (teach them to fold their paper so it stays private).
The key with adapting these jars for classroom check ins, is that you need to ensure the children know that, as the teacher, you will be collecting these papers. So the process is different than our Fairy Worry Jars at home.
This is a great way to add a bit of fun and magic to the daily mental health check in process in the classroom and make it fun for students. Some reluctant students might also feel more driven to participate if it is done in this fun, approachable way.
I hope these Fairy Jars bring a little magic and a little less worry to your children’s day!