Calm Down Bottles

I have long been a fan of the "calm down bottle." It's so pretty and relaxing to watch the glitter fall slowly - delicately to the bottom of the bottle.  It's fun to see what it looks like on the window sill with the sun shining through and see what happens when you shake it all up!  Many times, though, it seems to calm me and not my rambunctious, at times angry child.  At least it calmed one of us.

I put the bottle and the idea away for a while but recently decided to give it a go again.  We were looking for an additional tool to help us curb the wordless, screaming, body slinging tantrums with our 3 year old.

While I was looking for instructions to make another one I found a blog post that explained HOW and WHY the calm down bottles work!  Having more understanding for the behavior and the process for using the bottles was so helpful.

This sensory bottle, according to Christie from OT Mama, helps children learn to self-regulate.   For young children, or those with special needs, adults need to model how to use the bottle. Little by little, the child will learn to go to the bottle when he/she needs to calm down.

Read the OT Mama's explanation for how this works and how you can use it best with the children in your care to help them calm down.  It works!

This was our Halloween Calm Down Bottle.

This was our Halloween Calm Down Bottle.


  • Relax Bottle/Time Out Timer, My Crazy Blessed Life:
  • Why Sensory Time Out Bottles Work, OT Mama:
  • Self-Regulation: A Cornerstone of Early Child Development, Beyond the Journal - NAEYC:



Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building