24 Feb 2015

Make Your Own Calm-Down Jar

Parenting can be stressful at the best of times, but more so when you are in the grip of a crippling cold. It is extremely difficult to stay calm when your sinuses are bunged up, your head is ready to explode, and all you want is to curl up in bed with a hot drink and sleep. Instead, you are faced with a whining pre-schooler who is recuperating from a week of infections and antibiotics, and is demanding to be entertained. 

Enter the Calm-Down Jar, ridiculously easy to put together and effective in calming down raging tempers no matter what your age. By making our own Calm-Down Jar, I was killing two birds with one stone. It would give the child something to do and take his mind off the whinging. And it would restore some much-needed calm to the C-household. A win-win situation, if ever there was one.

Make Your Own Calm-Down Jar
Here's what we used to make our Calm-Down Jar:
  • An empty, clean glass jar with a tight fitting lid
  • A piece of cling film
  • Bits of peel-back shiny paper
  • Boiling hot water
  • Gold glitter glue
  • Multi-coloured glitter
  • A sprinkling of fairy dust

We started by choosing a jar of Nutella that had been emptied of its choco-nutty contents a while ago. The bottle had been cleaned and dried and was sitting in a cluttered corner of my kitchen cabinet along with a host of other empty jars. 

J and I got busy with the shiny paper with the sticky back. I cut out little squares and triangles that we then stuck to the plain white lid and all along the bottom edge of the glass bottle. This step is completely optional and has nothing to do with the Calm-Down properties of the Jar, but it does make the finished product look pretty.
  
Make Your Own Calm-Down Jar
                              
Next, I boiled water in a kettle and poured it into the empty jar, filling it about three quarters of the way up. This was to allow shaking room in the jar.

J had a go squirting a generous dollop of gold glitter glue into the hot water. We stirred it in to melt all the glue and disperse the glitter. The glue is to make the contents more viscous and add texture. I suppose plain water would work just as well.

Next, we added a teaspoonful of green, purple and blue glitter to add some colour and make our Calm-Down Jar more interesting.

It was time for a sprinkling of fairy dust to finish off our Calm-Down Jar. J obliged with a few stars, a couple of leaves and some hearts.

Make Your Own Calm-Down Jar

Make Your Own Calm-Down Jar

I let the jar sit on the kitchen counter for a good half hour to allow the water to cool down completely before sealing the top off with a piece of cling film. The lid went on tight and our Calm-Down Jar was ready.

All that was left was to give it a good old shake, sit back and watch as the glitter swirled around the jar like crazy thoughts in our heads and then settle down calmly at the bottom.

This is what a Calm-Down Jar is supposed to do. You sit and watch the stormy glitter, giving yourself time to reflect, to catch your breath and reclaim your thoughts before you cave in to the pressure and explode.

I intend to keep our jar close at hand where we can all find it and use it each time the urge to scream strikes.


Our Calm-Down Jar

30 comments:

  1. what a good idea , I need one of these

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  2. That is a really great idea. I made an activity jar a while ago where they had to spot different items and my son really enjoyed it.

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  3. Wow, this concept is new to me! We sit in our fish-room when we have a "calm-down" situation... but this jar definitely sounds exciting :)

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  4. What a lovely idea!

    I wonder if it would work on adults too? ;)

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    1. I am sure it does, Liz. This one is as much for me as for my little boy.

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  5. We needed to do this recently when Emmy's temper tantrums got a bit too much.
    It works rather well although I've since lost ours.
    Thanks for the reminder, I will definitely be making another

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  6. Love it, what a great idea! Might have to try making one of these here too! :-)

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  7. It looks like a great idea although I do worry that the kids would smash it - we are all pretty clumsy unfortunately!

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    1. You can try it with a plastic bottle or jar. Should work just as well.

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  8. I'd not thought of using them as a calming device - we made one recently with a Skylanders theme (not sure how calming that would be).

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  9. This is a great idea. We could have done with this last night when we had a bedtime tantrum!

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  10. I loved this post! And your calm-down jar is as soothing as watching a snow-globe settle only twice as sparkly :-)

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  11. what a really fabulous idea! i love it, we could so do this even though we are not crafty :-)

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  12. I love that idea, anything with sparkle in is a great idea to me! :)

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  13. aww wow I need to make one of these. How pretty. Sparkles make things even better hehe x

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  14. What a great idea!! Every home needs one of these.

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  15. we made similar with the children in sunday school last week.

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  16. Thank you for this. I sure need one of these jars.

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  17. What a fantastic idea, I know I'd be mesmerised by the sparkles if I had one xxx

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  18. What a cute idea, I need one of these in my life

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  19. I love sensory jars. Just as lovely for the adults.

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  20. I think I need one of these today x

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  21. Such a great idea and so simple to make

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  22. What a genius idea and bound to keep the children amused

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  23. I think I need one of these as well, I would find it fascinating to sit and watch!

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  24. I love this idea - Isaac really struggles to contain his emotions and think this would really help

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  25. What a great idea - thanks for sharing :) Kaz x

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  26. This is a fantastic idea! H sometimes has her moments so this could help her to calm down.

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