May 18, 2016

Calming Bottles

If you're reading this, then it is likely that you have a kiddo - either in your classroom or in  your home - that could use some help with emotional regulation.  Rest assured, you certainly are not alone.  We always seem to have a handful of students that need a bit more support in this area than others, and that is perfectly normal and okay!

I love the idea of having calm down kits or areas in a classroom (I'll have another post on this soon - I hope!), and calming bottles are a simple go-to for me for these.  I first came across this idea on a website called Play to Learn, and since then I cannot get enough of them.  If you would like even more ideas on different bottles you can make, I highly recommend checking their website out!

These bottles are so simple to make (alone or with help from kiddos), only take a few "ingredients", and are a blast to use!  Don't be surprised if you have students and teachers drop in to use these if you have a few on hand in your office!

Water Bead Calm Down Bottles

What You Need:

Water Bottles - I like to use the Voss water bottles - which you can find at any convenience store - but you can use any that you have on hand!
Water Beads - You may be able to find these at your local one-stop-shop store in the floral department or you can order some in fun colors here.
Glitter - You pick the colors!  I use a mixture of super fine glitter and regular glitter in mine (more on that later).
Clear Glue and Super Glue - Pretty easy to find!
Goo Gone and Sponge - I prefer to remove any sticky residue with Goo Gone since it is so much faster, but if you don't want to go out and purchase this, you can remove the labels with cooking oil.  Learn how to do this here.

Step 1:

If you happen to find water beads in the store, you will be able to skip this step.  If you happen to purchase them online, they will come to you in these tiny little baggies.  This may not look like a lot of beads to you, but keep in mind that these little guys will greatly expand once you get them into water.  Follow directions on how to use them that come with the packages - and remember a little goes a long way!  


Step 2:

Once your bottles are clean and your water beads have expanded to their full size, you are ready to make your calm down bottle!  I used the clear beads because I was lucky enough to find them at the store, plus I love the way they look in the bottle.  I use 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water beads depending on the size of the bottle - or just simply fill your bottle about half way to the top with the beads.

Step 3:

Add semi-warm water to the bottle, but leave about an inch of room at the top.  Add in enough of the clear glue to bring the water level to the top of the bottle.  The glue helps slow the glitter down in the bottle.  I love how the beads disappear in the water!

Step 4:

Add in your preferred amount of glitter to the bottle.  Again, I use a mixture of regular glitter and super-fine glitter.  My main purpose in mixing the two has to do with the amount of time that each takes to settle.  If I have a kiddo that needs a short break, I will have them shake the bottle and wait for the regular glitter to settle.  If I have a kiddo that might need a bit more time, they simply wait for both the regular and the super-fine glitter to settle.  Settling can take anywhere between 2-5 minutes (give or take) depending on the type of glitter you use and how much glue is in your bottle.


Step 5 - and done!

So, I didn't get a picture of this part (sorry!), but you will probably want to use super glue to seal the bottle shut.  I usually make a couple of rings of super glue along the top of the bottle before I screw the lid back on.  Once you have given the glue time to dry, shake up your bottle and watch the glitter fall!  

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