A calming glitter jar is easy to make with water, clear glue, glitter and food colouring. A glitter jar (also known as a calm down jar or glitter bottle) is mesmerizing to play with, and a wonderful tool to help kids calm down and relax when big emotions have them feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
As a parent, teacher or childcare provider, you’re no-doubt familiar with the wide range of emotions that young children can experience on any given day. When they’re happy, laughing and having fun, it’s all good, but there are times when frustration, fear, anxiety, hurt feelings and anger cause our little ones’ emotions to get the best of them.
Today, I’m partnering with Nelvana, a division of Corus Entertainment, to show you how to make a calm-down glitter bottle and to introduce you to Esme and Roy, an animated preschool series that encompasses silliness and fun while teaching children how to manage their emotions and navigate through tough and relatable situations.
Esme and Roy – a Preschool Series to help kids manage big emotions:
Treehouse TV and the makers of Sesame Street have teamed up to produce this adorable series which follows a young girl, Esme, and her monster friend Roy, on their adventures as “the best monster babysitters in Monsterdale”.
Each episode starts with Esme and Roy heading off on a babysitting assignment. At some point, during their assignment, the little monster in their care encounters an emotional or behavioural issue, which presents a challenge for both the babysitters and the little monster. Esme and Roy come up with creative, fun and soothing solutions, such as deep belly-breathing, positive self-talk, and other calming strategies to help the young monsters work through their big emotions to overcome their anxieties and fears.
The characters in the series are sweet and loveable, and kids and parents alike will appreciate the easy-to-adopt strategies suggested in the show, and the positive message that it conveys.
You can catch Esme and Roy on Treehouse TV on Saturday mornings at 7:10 am.
You can also check out some short clips on Esme and Roy’s You Tube Channel.
On to our Glitter Bottles!
One of Esme’s and Roy’s calming strategies is a glitter bottle and a calm-down song to prevent a melt-down and help one of their little monsters gain control of their emotions.
When a child’s emotions get too big for them to handle, a glitter bottle can work quickly to calm the body and the mind, helping to slow a child’s breathing and clear their thoughts.
Just a few quiet moments, watching the glitter swirl and fall along with some positive self-talk can really diffuse a situation and empower a child. It can also help kids to recognize and manage their emotions future flareups occur.
The producers of the Esme and Roy kindly sent us the ingredients to make some calm-down glitter bottles for our daycare, along with the words to the calm-down song which can be sung while the child holds the bottle.
How to make a Calm Down Glitter Bottle
We had a lot of fun making our glitter bottles, and we LOVE how beautiful they look when we tip them to make the glitter slowly slide and swirl from one end of the bottle to the other.
They’ll definitely be useful here in our daycare when the hooligans need a quiet moment to settle themselves.
To make your Glitter Bottle, you’ll need:
For your conviencience, this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
(Printable Instructions at bottom of post)
- jar or bottle (you can find ours here)
- measuring cup
- hot water
- clear glue
- food colouring
- stir stick
Pour clear glue to fill about 1/4 of your jar or bottle.
Using a measuring cup and funnel, fill the jar with hot water to about the 3/4 mark.
Encourage your child to estimate where this mark would be on the bottle or the jar before pouring. They’ll then have to control the speed of their pouring, slowing down just before they get to their mark.
Their hand-eye coordination will be tested, so be sure to protect your work surface as there may be spills.
Next, add your glitter.
Get creative here and add as much and as many colours of glitter as you’d like. We used 2 colours of glitter for all of ours.
Once you’ve added your glitter, add 1-2 drops of food colouring to the jar.
You can use a colour that compliments the colour of your glitter, or use colours that are completely different. We made our bottles both ways, and often, when we combined colours that didn’t seem like they would go together at all, they produced the most beautiful results of all.
Stir it all up and top up the jar with more hot water.
Put on the lid and twist it tight.
Now, give it a good shake and enjoy the mesmerizing effect of the glitter sparkling and swirling as it settles slowly to the bottom of the jar.
And don’t forget to sing the calm-down song!
You can watch Esme singing it here.
Glitter Jar Calm-Down Song:
When the glitter starts to fall like snow,
take a deep breath nice and slow.
Watch it as it settles all around,
and feel your body calming down.
Calming Glitter Jars for Preschoolers
- jar or bottle
- measuring cup
- hot water
- clear glue
- food colouring
- stir stick
- Pour clear glue to fill about 1/4 of your jar or bottle.
- Fill the jar with hot water to about the 3/4 mark.
- Add as much and as many colours of glitter as you'd like.
- add 1-2 drops of food colouring to the bottle.
- Stir well with stir stick.
- Top up jar with more hot water.
- Secure lid and shake.
Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
Good day Jackie …. thank you once again for yet another wonderful project. The Calming Glitter is terrific. Do you have a source for the glass bottles? The size and shape of the bottles you used ais perfect and I want to make mine just like yours.
Blessings to you.
Where are those jars from?
Hi Niki! I’ve just added a link to the post for the jars. You can get them here with my Amazon affiliate link: https://amzn.to/2rVrazz
Ive ordered my bottles and am excited to do this activity with the children but my question is – the hot water, is this just to start the mixture off or do we need to reheat the bottles next time to get the effect and also thin the glue?
You just heat it to make them, Mandy. No need to heat afterwards. Have fun with yours!
I guess the hot water is used to mix or dilute the glue solution faster or more effectively than not mentioning it and having room or cold temperature water?
Will glitter glue work as well?
That’s a good question, Angela. It might but I’m not sure that the glitter would free fall as nicely as it does when you add it separately. Plus, you can add a lot more when you add it separately. If you give it a try, I’d still be inclined to add some extra glitter to the bottle.
Thank you so much for this awesome idea. My students with complex needs will have
a fantastic time in our sensory room, with these calming glitter jars.
Blessings from Aotearoa.