Sometimes kids need help calming down. A calm down jar/bottle is a simple way to help them take the time needed to take a few deep breaths and calm down.
We made two colorful calm down bottles a couple weeks ago, and they have been a huge help, plus they are just fun to look at!
I wanted to share how to make a calm down bottle of your own.
For a fun twist, you might also like our floating star sensory bottle directions.
This calm down bottle is great for helping toddlers and preschoolers as they start to learn to manage their emotions. It is also a great sensory tool.
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- Clear Bottle with Lid (I recycled these drink bottles.)
- Glitter Glue
- Liquid Food Coloring (optional)
- Hot Water
- Large Bowl
I have seen these done with glass bottles, but I don’t like the idea of giving something glass to a child that is upset because they have a tendency to throw things. I chose to recycle these clear drink bottles because the plastic is stronger than most water bottles and they have nice smooth sides so the glitter doesn’t get stuck.
How to Make a Calm Down Bottle
Pour approximately 4-5 oz. of glitter glue into your large bowl. (That’s 3/4 of the Elmer’s glitter glue bottle.)
Fill your clear plastic bottle half way with hot water.
Add this hot water to the bowl of glitter glue. Using hot water instead of room temperature water will keep your mixture from clumping as much.
Use your whisk to thoroughly mix the glitter glue and water together.
Many directions say to shake it all together in the sensory bottle you will be using, but I found that ours kept clumping when I did that. Using the whisk worked much better.
Once it is all mixed, use a funnel to pour it all into your bottle.
If desired, add a few drops of food coloring. Since I used silver glitter glue for our first calm down bottle, we added a few drops of green food coloring to it.
For our second bottle I used pink glitter glue, and the color was perfect just the way it was!
Add more glitter. (I added an entire vial like this one.)
Add more water as needed, leaving enough space for shaking (about an inch).
Then screw on the cap and give it a good shake!
If the glitter falls faster than you’d like, add a bit more glitter. I tried to make it so it takes 4-5 minutes for all the glitter to settle in our bottles.
Once you are happy with the results, use a bit of super glue to secure the lid in place.
These are great to use for time outs or when things are getting too heated between siblings and they just need to calm down for a bit.
Now that you know how to make a calm down bottle you can make several of your own and personalize them for your child.
More Sensory Ideas: