What I love about these Calming Bottles is how simple they are to make. You can make them yourself in a few minutes or have a toddler/preschooler help with the process. For a younger child, these glitter bottles make a great sensory toy. Kids get enthralled watching the glitter swirl around. If your kids are a little older (mine are 5 and 3) the bottles can be used in conjunction with a time out or cooling off period. The child simply shakes the bottle up and watches all of the glitter fall to the bottom. This takes approximately 2 1/2 minutes to occur. I wish I could take credit for this idea, but I got it at a recent MOPS meeting. After food and fellowship, my MOPS group made some Calming Bottles. When I brought home the one I made, my three kids argued over it which told me I was on to something. If you are looking for more ways to calm a child, I offer some ideas on 10 Tips for Surviving the Terrible Twos and Letting Kids Work it Out.
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You will need:
- 16 oz water bottle with water
- Glitter glue (we bought ours in a 3 pack at the dollar store – each bottle is 3oz)
- Glue gun
This first part should be done by an adult. Open up your water bottle and pour out a small amount, equal to a sip of water. If the bottle is full it will overflow when you start to add the glitter glue. You can see in the photo above that mine is not quite filled to the top.
Now it’s time for the kids to have some fun creating their calming bottles. Give your child an open bottle of water and some glitter glue. Have them start squeezing the glitter glue into the bottle.
You will want to use at least 3/4 of a 3oz bottle of glitter glue. This is a great fine motor activity for kids as they use their small hand muscles to squeeze all the glitter glue out.
When your child is done squeezing the glue into the bottle, they can choose a color of loose glitter to add to the bottle. Dad helped with this step as it can get messy. Next, have kids add the jewels.
What follows was my kids’ favorite part – shaking up the bottle. My daughter shook up, down, sideways and every which way.
When you first start shaking, the glitter glue with break into small clumps. But steady, vigorous shaking will break up the clumps and mix the colors of glitter.
The final step in the process is to hot glue the cap to the bottle so your child will not be able to open it up. This is an adults only step. Even with the cap glued on the bottle, you should still supervise your child when they are using it. Some kids out there seem to possess super human strength!
For more ways to help kids calm down check out: