Simple Rainbow Calm Down Jars

We are big fans of calm down jars. In our family, we are always looking for strategies to learn how to self-regulate and calm our big emotions. We have made a few calm down jars and sensory bottles in the past, but these might be our absolute favorites so far. We’ve combined a few of our favorite methods of creating calm down jars to make these simple rainbow calm down jars.

Rainbow Calm Down Jars

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There are many ways to make calm down jars but we think we might have perfected how to make them both smooth and timed just perfectly.

How to Make Rainbow Calm Down Jars

Materials for Rainbow Calm Down Jars

Materials you need for Rainbow Calm Down Jars

How to make Rainbow Calm Down Jars

Making Rainbow Calm Down Jars

We started, as we normally do, with our favorite bottles and filled them with very warm water. We then added in about 2 tubes of glitter glue.

However, this time we added in about 1/4 cup of clear corn syrup before adding in our extra glitter. We normally use another jar of clear glue, but we actually didn’t have any but we did have corn syrup. We filled the bottle the rest of the way with warm water (Save room for shaking and movement in the bottle).

Now, it is time to shake like no tomorrow. Your kids will love this part.

Note: If you have a younger child or one that will open, I suggest hot gluing the lid closed.

How to Make Glitter Calm Down Jars

Repeat this process for each of your colors. We did red, orange, yellow, green, blue and finally purple. Ignore the fact that we took the pictures of the bottles out of order (or have a giggle on our behalf).

Still curious about what a calm down jar even is? It is okay. I have written in great lengths on how they work and when to use them in our Lego calm down jar instructions.

Click Here button

How to Make Glitter Calm Down Jars that are Amazing

Because our Lego Calm Down Jars are our one of our most popular posts, we get a lot of questions and concerns about the use of calm down jars. I thought it might be good to go over a few of the frequently asked questions and add to them as others come up over time.

Frequently Asked Questions about Calm Down Jars

(These are taken from actual comments on the blog or on Facebook… I can’t make some of them up)

If my child is upset, won’t they just throw the calm down jar? 
This can definitely happen when a child is upset and unable to communicate their frustrations. The key is to teach emotions and regulation before the meltdowns occur. However, this is always possible. When your child is calm and happy, introduce the calm down jars so they can learn to use them when they are at their calmest point and will understand what they are used for when they are needed.

Aren’t you just rewarding children by giving them a calm down jar when they are in trouble? 
The idea is not that a child is in trouble but that a child is having trouble. The idea behind a calm down jar is that it gives them a visual tool to help them focus their attention away from their frustrations and worries for long enough to communicate what they need. This takes a shift in our thoughts and views on parenting if we were raised in a home of time outs and punishments for tantrums and meltdowns.

Are calm down jars only for when children are angry? 
Absolutely not. In fact, they are perfect for any emotion, including happiness. My son uses them more as a fidget when he is over-excited that we have guests coming. He will sit in a calming area and use the jars to soothe him while he waits for the anticipated event.

It’s a fricken homemade snow globe. I do not see the calming effects of giving my kid a glass container filled with glue, water, and glitter…
The truth is, there are many reasons that calm down jars are effective and calming. The simple act of shaking provides proprioceptive input (sensory input) to the joints and muscles in the arms and hands. This alone can help a child recenter their body much like an adult “shaking it off”, running in place, or doing wall pushups. You are very right, these are like snow globes… haven’t you ever just sat and stared at the floating pieces in a snow globe? That is because they are visually appealing and calming to our nervous systems. They bring our brain to a state of rest instead of alarm.

Wouldn’t it just be easier to let the play outside instead of making something like this?
Sure… I mean, its easy to let kids run outside ALL the time. There is never a time where we need to be at a calm state and/or attentive. Okay, now that I got the sarcasm out… really, the answer is simple. Going outside doesn’t always calm all children. In fact, it can heighten their frustration or arousal. Giving them this as a tool is a way to help them learn to self-regulate.

I could go on and on…


Simple Rainbow Calm Down Jars

I am really struggling to pick my favorite color. Do you have one? I might love the orange or purple most… I just don’t know.

Do you struggle to help your anxious child? I have just the series for you! You will get 10 secrets every parent should know about calming an anxious child delivered straight to your inbox. Simply click the button to enroll and watch your inbox for the help you have been waiting for.

Calm Secrets Series

This post is part of the Discovery Bottles Blog Hop, where you can find lots of discovery bottles that can also be used for calming and soothing an anxious or overwhelmed child. This month each sensory bottle is Rainbow themed.

Rainbow Counting Bears Sensory Bottle | Preschool Inspirations

Rainbow Pipe Cleaner Sensory Bottle | Mom Inspired Life

Rainbow Button Sensory Bottle | Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tail

Pot of Gold Discovery Bottle | Sunny Day Family

Friendship Thread Calming Sensory Bottle | Sugar Aunts

Rainbow Galaxy Sensory Bottle | Rhythms of Play

Glitter Jars in a Rainbow of Colors | Fun-A-Day

Rainbow Alphabet Sensory Bottle | Modern Preschool

Rainbow Polka Dot Discovery Bottle | Still Playing School

For More Adventures in Sensory and Calming

What to Say to Calm Your Angry Child

Do you have an anxious child? These tips are so helpful!


20 thoughts on “Simple Rainbow Calm Down Jars”

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  5. Laura M. Johnson

    These are such a wonderful idea! Funny enough, I made a similar project to this when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer teacher in Lesotho, and students were positively mesmerized, which goes to show these have global appeal. Fun, useful crafts for all! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

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  9. We’re waiting to be matched with a child in foster care to adopt, and while we wait we told our case worker we’re open to doing respite for other foster/adopt families. We spent the weekend gathering a few sensory/gross motor activities AND we made 2 glitter jars! One we even floated a lego guy in. 😉 Even my hubby couldn’t resist holding them up to the light and watching the glitter swirl around. We hope the kiddos we have here for respite, and the kiddo we eventually adopt, will enjoy them. Thanks for sharing this! They were super easy to make.

  10. Sonia

    These are also great for the “Elderly”
    I have worked with people who have Alzheimers/Dementias.
    When their agitation starts, I put one of these in their hand. Many times it calms and relaxes them.
    Keep in mind no to humans are alike.
    So some may throw them or refuse them.
    I love anything safe and homemade to use for therapy.
    I learned to make all kind when I taught preschool for 7 years.

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    1. Lemon Lime Adventures

      Great for preschool to middle school

  12. becky pigott

    would love to join mailing list work 1:1 with autistic 4 year old and you have some great ideas

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  16. Rachel

    Thank you for this! My 6 yo son has some sensory issues and is having trouble “using his words” at school (I get calls weekly about him having meltdowns in class!). The teacher said she has a Calm Down Bottle in the class, and now Son wants one at home! I’m excited to use this to help him refocus and be able to use his words to vent his frustrations once he is calm!

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  18. Elizabeth Turcotte

    Thank you for providing such a simple craft that anyone can handle!

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