How to make a memory jar

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Children can sometimes find it difficult to talk about a brother or sister who has died. One way to encourage them to express how they feel is to create a memory jar. This simple activity helps children think about happy memories while creating something beautiful to help them remember their brother or sister.

The following instructions create a jar layered with different coloured salt and chalk to trigger different memories. You might prefer to mix the salt with powdered paint instead. You can choose to add objects to the jar that have significant meanings. The end result will be a way of remembering a special person and will allow children an opportunity to communicate their feelings.

Let’s make it!

  • 1. Gather together a glass jar with a lid, a pen, salt, coloured chalks, felt tip pens and six sheets of A4 paper
  • 2. Carefully fill the jar with salt and place to one side
  • 3. On a piece of paper write down any five things you remember about the person who died
  • 4. Draw a dot of colour next to each memory (for example, blue for their favourite song, pink for a time you did something fun together)
  • 5. Spread out five sheets of paper and split the salt from the jar between them
  • 6. Colour each pile of salt one of the colours of the dots by rubbing a piece
  • 7. Carefully pour each pile of salt into the jar one at a time to create layers
  • 8. Gently tap the jar to settle the salt then fill up any remaining space with plain salt to prevent the layers mixing
  • 9. Put your jar somewhere you will see it often and keep your memory sheet safe so you can show it to friends and family.

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