Monday, April 15, 2013

Calm Down Jar

As most parents of four-year olds, especially girls that have a flair for the dramatic like mine, you're always looking for techniques to turn to when your child is in the throes of a tantrum. I loved the idea of a calm-down jar that I found and decided to give it a try. One thing I would note is that I had the large size Ball jars at home leftover from another project and we used one of these even though it's a little too big and heavy for her to shake on her own. I've made a smaller one that is easier for her to handle, but she tends to prefer the bigger one because it's "prettier to look at". I also want to try making one with a plastic container for younger kids in the future.
All you need is a jar, fine glitter, clear glue and food coloring. You can use coarse glitter, but it does fall faster than the fine glitter. I put a little course glitter, but preferred the fine glitter by far. You can also use glitter glue instead of the clear glue. I tried this initially and it worked, but you need a ton of glitter glue. Since it can get pricey, I felt the clear glue was more cost effective.
First we added in food coloring 
Of course she chose pink and purple, then added in lots of glitter. Its a process of adding glitter and glue until you get the effect you're hoping for. If the glitter falls too quickly, add more glue. 
Then you just watch the glitter until it all falls to the bottom and you get a chance to calm down. I kept adding glue until it took about 2 minutes for all of the glitter to be completely settled at the bottom. It's not a magic cure but there have been several melt-downs where I've asked Abby to sit with the jar and even if she wasn't completely calm, the emotions were headed in that direction. 
You don't have to do anything to decorate the jar top, but I thought the writing wasn't fitting so we chose some pretty flower paper instead. I just cut it to fit the top and then sealed it with matte finish mod podge. I also put a thick seal of hot glue around the outer rim to prevent leaks. I made some sensory jars using this method on some small plastic containers when Abby was 1 and they still haven't leaked. 
This is the jar when the glitter had settled. She preferred the water to be colored but it also could be cool to leave the water clear and have brightly colored glitter swirling. Here's to anything that might make our tantrums be fewer and farther in between! Good Luck :)

No comments:

Post a Comment