How To Make A Calm Down Jar

They are an amazing resource for parents - great for calming down kids who are in time-out, anxious or struggling with sensory overload!

As the name describes calm down jars are great for calming down kids who are in time-out, anxious or struggling with sensory overload.

This article is part of our #FamilyFun30 Challenge, where every day we set a simple, accessible and fun task to enjoy with your family. Check out the full list of challenges here and get involved!

A lot of young children have huge tempers that cause tantrums and parents use a number of ways to discipline their children. The naughty step, time-out and sometimes just leaving them alone are all ways parents attempt to let their child calm down and come around after a short while.

However, now parents are turning to calm down jars more frequently than ever. If you haven’t heard of them, we at FamilyFriendlyHQ are going to explain more about them.

We will give you a guide on firstly how to make them which incredibly is really easy with very few supplies, how best to use them and why you should have one for your child (or at least try it).

You will need:

  • A recycled jar or bottle (plastic ones will bounce not break!)
  • Glitter glue.
  • Extra glitter (for extra shine).
  • Food colouring.
  • Warm water.

How to make a calm down jar:

  1. Add the glitter glue to a jar with warm water.

    Add half the bottle of the glitter glue to the jar, then add in the warm water just enough to nearly fill it as you need space to mix it up!

  2. Add food colouring and some more glitter.

    Add in a tad of food colouring and the extra glitter otherwise the glitter glue might separate and not look as good.

  3. Add in whatever you like.

    Finally, you can add in (if you like) a little toy character, for instance, Lego or whatever your child likes.

  4. Mix!

    Then mix it all up! Tip: You might want to glue the lid onto the jar as some kids might try to open it!

How to use them for your child:

When your child has a tantrum you can use the jar as a time out and let them shake it furiously. Tell them when the glitter settles (usually between 2- 5minutes) you will talk to them but without any shouting. Some kids become transfixed looking at them and watching the glitter and colour that it calms them down and they soon forget all about their freak out!

If you have a number of children you can let them choose different colours and glitters so they can have their very own jar.

Why you should have one:

  • They are beautiful and when not in use you can put them in a room on a shelf and they won’t look dull or boring.
  • Visitors may ask about the jars of glitter and you can tell them how your children benefit from them. Who knows, maybe they will try them on their own kiddies? 
  • They are really soothing and calming and after watching the glitter settle it does allow your kid to take a minute.
  • They are not an extreme form of punishment.
  • What kid is going to complain to people that their mam and dad made them sit with a jar for five minutes? None as it isn’t seen as a form of discipline. Instead, the emphasis is more on "go and cool down with your jar and we can talk then".
  • There is absolutely no harm in trying it for your kids and while it may not work every time, it may help one day and not the next depending on your child’s mood and anxiety.

I think I will make them for all the family, even my husband!

Feature Image Credit:

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