Make a Calm Down Bottle

What You Need:

  • Small plastic bottles
  • Warm water
  • Mixing bowl with spout for pouring
  • Tape
  • 2 ounces glitter glue
  • 2-3 drops of food coloring (depending on bottle size)
  • 2-4 ounces fine glitter
  • Calm Down Bottle worksheet

What You Do:

  1. Talk to your child about how their body feels when they feel a strong emotion.
  2. Explain that there are strategies they can use to relax. Have them take a few deep breaths in their belly to see how breathing can calm them down.
  3. Share that they will make a calm down bottle today to help them out whenever they feel stressed, upset, or overwhelmed.
  4. With your support, have your child add warm water to the bottle until it’s filled ⅓ of the way up.
  5. Add the glitter glue and stir until combined with water.
  6. Add 2-3 drops of food coloring. Be careful not to add too much or it will be challenging to see the glitter.
  7. Pour in the glitter! Again, your child can use more or less than suggested.
  8. Stir well until combined with the existing mixture. Optional: use a drop of baby oil or liquid soap to give the calm down jar a cool effect.
  9. Use tape to secure the bottle and make sure it stays closed shut.
  10. Have your child place the calm down bottle in an easily accessible place.
  11. Encourage your child to give the bottle a more creative name.
  12. Have your child practice breathing deeply using their calm down bottle every day.
  13. It can be fun to breathe deeply together with them and make a calm down bottle for yourself too and keep it in a special place.
  14. Brainstorm times or ways you would use your calm down bottle.
  15. Complete the Calm Down Bottle worksheet.

About the author: Meena Srinivasan, MA, National Board Certified Teacher, is a leader in the fields of Mindful Awareness Practices (MAP) and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). She is the author of Teach, Breathe, Learn: Mindfulness In and Out of the Classroom (Parallax Press, 2014) and SEL Everyday: Integrating Social and Emotional Learning With Instruction in Secondary Classrooms (Norton, 2019).

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