Want a fun craft project that will soothe your child during moments of stress? Make a calming bottle to add to their coping toolbox! Calm down bottles are great for kids who are in timeout, fidgety or struggling with sensory overload, or just feeling anxious.

Pediatric psychologist Melissa Santos, PhD, head of Connecticut Children’s Division of Psychology, shares how to make one at home.

Supplies for a calming bottle

A calm down bottle can be as simple or fancy as you like. At its simplest, all you need are these supplies:

  • Clear bottle or jar with a lid that will shut tight (empty water bottles work well)
  • Hot water
  • Bottle of clear glue (not white glue)
  • Glitter (have your child pick out their favorite color)
  • Super glue or hot glue

As optional add-ins, you can have your child select some of these items:

  • Food coloring
  • Glow-in-the-dark pieces
  • LEGO® bricks
  • Anything else that will hold up in water

Basic instructions

  • Make sure your bottle is clean before you start.
  • Fill the bottle about three-quarters full with hot water. (Don’t fill it quite so much if you’re adding items that take up space, like LEGO® bricks.)
  • Add clear glue to within an inch or so of the top. (Leave a little more room if you’ll be adding LEGO® bricks, etc.)
  • Add glitter.
  • Shake well to test how long it takes for glitter to settle to the bottom of the bottle. If you want the glitter to fall more slowly, add more glue. If you want it to fall more quickly, add more water.
  • Fancy it up by adding food coloring or other items you’ve set aside. Glow-in-the-dark pieces make it a night light! LEGO® bricks personalize it! Here’s a link to make a jelly fish calming bottle.
  • Once you have the result you want, super glue or hot glue the lid shut. You’re done!

Add it to your child’s coping skills toolbox.

A coping skills toolbox is a place where you put together all the things that help you calm down when you are having a lot of feelings – and a calming glitter bottle is a perfect addition. Here’s how to make a coping toolbox for your child.

What kind of calm down bottle did you make with your child? What else is in your child’s coping toolbox? Let us know!

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