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How to Create a "Calm Down Jar"

Updated on August 21, 2015
Samantha McDonald profile image

Samantha is the creator of "Living With Real Joy" where she shares her family's journey through ADHD, Autism, and Depression.

What is a Calm Down Jar?

I came across this idea when I was looking for ways to help my son calm down during his meltdowns and tantrums. A "Calm Down Jar" is essentially a tool used to distract a child (or person) when he is in the middle of a frustrating moment. For those parents who deal with meltdowns, you know how useful something like this could be. I've also found it to be helpful when my daughter says she's "bored".

Since this has been so helpful in our household, I thought I'd share how you can create your own "Calm Down Jar".

Glitter Glue and Jelly Jar
Glitter Glue and Jelly Jar


Here are the supplies you'll need:

a jar with a lid

glitter glue

extra glitter

food coloring

warm water

a small toy that will fit in the jar (optional)

Extra Glitter
Extra Glitter

Step 1: Fill the Jar

My girl loves all things colorful. She decided to use 2 different colors of glitter glue for her jar. We found the glitter glue and extra glitter at Wal-Mart in the party supplies section. Squeeze the glue in the jar until it's about half way full. Then add in the extra glitter and food coloring (any color of your choice). After this, fill the rest of the way with warm water, leaving enough space so you can shake the jar easily.

Add your glitter glue - we chose green and pink
Add your glitter glue - we chose green and pink
Add extra glitter
Add extra glitter
Add food coloring
Add food coloring

Step 2: Add a Small Toy

My daughter wanted to add a small toy to her glitter jar. I did label this as an optional add-in but really it makes it so much more fun to see a little toy floating around in there. She added one of her LEGO Friends. You can choose anything you'd like though - marbles, legos, small action figures, really anything that will fit and float around in the jar.

LEGO Friend added to the jar
LEGO Friend added to the jar

Step 3: Close the Jar Tightly & Shake to Mix

We used a jelly jar that I had in my garage, stored with all of my canning items. You can use any kind of jar or bottle as long as it has a lid that closes tightly. Pop or water bottle, condiment jar, pickle jar, etc. Once closed, shake it up!! :)

(You could also glue it so it won't come off easily. We decided not to in case she wanted to change the LEGO toy.)

Now close the jar TIGHTLY!
Now close the jar TIGHTLY!

Step 4: Shake & Have Fun!!

You're all set with your new Calm Down Jar! My girl uses it when she's bored, but either way it does the trick. It really helps with kids who have sensory needs as well.

Crafting with Your Kids

Do you enjoy creating crafts with your kids?

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Shake & Enjoy!
Shake & Enjoy!

Are you ready to make your own "Calm Down Jar"? Leave a comment when you do and let me know how it worked for you. If you have any other ideas or suggestions, I'm happy to hear them too. Enjoy!


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