Thursday, 19 February 2015

Keep Calm and Make a 'Calm' Bottle

Like every parent, I sometimes battle with controlling the tantrums thrown by the little ones.

I read online about an occupational therapy technique using 'Calm' Bottles as a tool for helping children self regulate those uncontrollable meltdowns. Of course, I decided to try it out, as naughty corners and scoldings are not always effective (plus they look pretty).Best of all, I employed child labour for the task and got Noodle to do most of the work in making the bottle.

I bought two little bottles of Drink-o-pop Kid-O cool drink (the type of thing I typically do not let my kids drink, but I liked the size and shape of the bottle for this task and wanted plastic bottles for this purpose to avoid damage by angry kids). I have seen glass jars used, but would strongly recommend plastic for children. Once the contents of the bottles were decanted, this is how we made it:
  1. We squeezed a few tubes of glitter glue at the bottom of the bottle.
  2. We poured in a full bottle of glitter. I also added some other random sparkly bits.
  3. We added hot, but not boiling water, adding more water or glitter depending on the consistency desired. The difference in viscosity between the water and the glue create a beautiful swirly effect.
  4. We added a few drops of purple food colouring and gave everything a good stir.
  5. I glued the jar lid on with superglue (as we do not want little hands spilling glue and glitter everywhere).
  6. Some ribbons and sparkles were added for good measure.
The idea is that when the little ones throw tantrums they get a time out until the glitter settles to the bottom of the bottle. If they shake it, it will take longer so they have to stay still. In the meantime, the pretty swirly colours will mesmerize them into a mysical trance of calmness. Squish is still a little young for time outs but I have used the technique very successfully with Noodle, who calms down seconds after I hand her the bottle even through the worst tantrums.
The bottle used for the 'Calm' Bottle
The end product (excuse the poor photo quality which does not really capture the full glitter effect).