Skills Building: Moody Cow Meditates (PK-2)

Moody Cow Book

Written and Illustrated by Kerry Lee MacLean

Pre- Reading Questions 

  1. Based on the cover, how do you think the cow feels? How can you tell? 
  2. How does your body feel when you are mad? How does your brain feel? 
  3. Do you know what the word meditate means? 
  4. Have you ever meditated before?

Post- Reading Questions

  1. Have you ever had a “stupid, rotten day where everything went wrong?” How do you feel on those days? 
  2. What can you do to make yourself feel better on days like that? 
  3. How did Moody Cow make the day worse for himself? 
  4. He repeatedly said that it wasn’t his fault but what do you think? Were some things his fault? 
  5. Was it fair for him to blame others for the bad things that happened? 
  6. How did he finally learn to calm down? 
  7. (If students have created glitter jars) How do you think glitter jars help our brains calm down when we are frustrated, stressed or angry?

Creative Enrichment Activity: Glitter Jars (PK-2)


When our brains are frustrated, stressed, sad or angry, our amygdala takes over and tells us to freeze, fight or flee. As students watch the glitter settle in their jar, their brains calm down and their amygdala opens, allowing them to think clearly and make good choices rather than reacting impulsively. Students will walk away with another tool in their self-regulation toolkit.


  • Micro glitter, various colors
  • Multiple clear glue bottles
  • Mini funnel or construction paper to make a funnel
  • Sharpies
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Clear jars or water bottles (1 for each student)
  • Tables or outdoor space to reduce the mess

Duration: 30 minutes 

  • 5 minutes – Explain what happens to our brains under stress
  • 2 minutes – Introduce glitter jars and how to make them
  • 15 minutes – Create glitter jars
  • 3 minutes – Practice using glitter jars
  • 5 minutes – Reflect on the activity


  1. Have students sit and explain to them the different parts of the brain.

    : “In our brain we have something called the amygdala. The amygdala manages our emotions and helps protect us when our emotions get too big. When we get stressed, scared, sad or angry, our amygdala shuts down and goes into fight, flight or freeze mode. When our amygdala is closed, we cannot think through our decisions, we just react. In order to open our amygdala, we have to calm our brain through breathing and mindfulness so that we can make good choices. Glitter jars calm our brain as we focus on the falling glitter and open up our amygdala.” 

  2. Introduce the concept of glitter jars and explain how they will be created. 
  3. Give each student a mini water bottle or jar. 
  4. Instruct the students to remove the wrapper from the bottle so that they are able to see through it.
  5. Each student should take a sip from their water bottle so it remains about 80% full. 
  6. Next, instruct the students to pour clear glue into their water bottles. As they are pouring, have them count and stop pouring once they reach 25. (Note: The more glue that is added to the glitter jar, the slower the glitter will settle.) 
  7. Invite students to come up two at a time to add glitter to their bottle. (Carefully guide students or have the teacher pour the glitter to avoid a big mess). Students may get multiple colors. Another option is to add in a few drops of food coloring.
  8. Have students place the caps back on their water bottles, shake up the glitter, and focus on their breathing as they watch it fall. Have students write their names on the cap.
  9. Clean up.
  10. Have students sit in a circle with their glitter jars in front of them and practice belly breathing as they watch the glitter settle.
  11. Give it another shake and repeat.

When the glitter jar sits, the glitter settles peacefully at the bottom. You can see through it. Imagine that the glitter represents our thoughts. When we are angry or upset (shake the bottle), our thoughts are swirling around and we are not able to think clearly. Watch the glitter as it swirls. It always settles. As you concentrate on the glitter, notice your mind settling, too. When the glitter returns to the bottom of the jar, you will feel calmer and are able to think more clearly. Try even in-even out breathing as you watch your glitter settle.”

Reflection Questions

  • How did your mind feel before you used your glitter jar?
  • How did it feel after?
  • What do you think helped you?
  • Why do you think it works?
  • When could you use your glitter jar?