"Calming jars" get their name from the relaxing and soothing effects that they can have on children. Whether used to stifle a tantrum, provide an electronics-free mental break or tackle a myriad of parenting scenarios in between, a calming jar can really come in handy when you need it most. And the best part? No noise and no mess to clean up afterwards means that using it can be pretty calming for parents too.
Your children will watch in amazement as the swirls of glitter move at their own graceful pace from one end of the bottle to the other. The falling process is slower and more controlled due to addition of glitter glue, and the hot water keeps the glitter from clumping. Once all the glitter finally falls to the bottom (it takes a while, by design), all the kids have to do is flip the bottle and watch the whole process all over again. This could literally last for hours or maybe even the entire time that you're making dinner — imagine that!
(Note: Makes one jar.)
Empty plastic bottle that is easy for little hands to grasp (recommended: VOSS 330 ml)
1 cup hot water
2 fl oz (about ¼ cup or one small container) of regular or glow-in-the dark glitter glue
Fine glitter in assorted colors
Food coloring that matches your glitter selections
Wash each bottle in hot, soapy water before using. Let dry and set aside.
Pour the glitter glue into the bowl.
Add hot water to the bowl. Use the whisk to mix the water and glue until the mix is no longer clumpy.
Add glitter to mixture, using the whisk to make sure that it's evenly distribute. Start with a small amount and then keep adding more glitter as needed.
Add one drop of food coloring in a color that complements the color of the glitter that you used. Mix well.
Add additional drops of food coloring until the mixture reaches your desired hue. It's fun to mix colors too!
Pour the mixture back into the measuring cup or use a funnel to transfer the mixture to the bottle.
Secure the lid and give the bottle a few vigorous shakes to test it out. Once the bubbles subside, add more hot water if you want the glitter to settle faster.
If you want the glitter to settle slower, pour the mixture back into the bowl and add more glitter glue. Mix well with the whisk.
Once you're happy with your mixture, apply super glue to the lid and tighten to keep prying little hands out.
Looking for more ideas? Watch how to make homemade marble crayons: