I can’t tell you how many times we’ve made calm down bottles. My kids are obsessed and it’s one of their favorites activities to make.
There’s something about watching glitter with little toys fall in slow motion… It makes for an affordable toy that keeps the kids entertained for hours. Plus, it’s so easy to customize for any season, holiday or to just throw in it whatever you have available at home.
The problem is that not every time we make calm down bottles it come out right. They are so many ways to make them that it can get confusing. Sometimes the glitter moves too fast, sometimes too slow or it gets all foggy.
There is a science to making calm down bottles. This post goes into a lot of detail of what works, what doesn’t and how each mixture produces a different type of liquid.
But time after time I’ve found myself using the same “recipe” and just changing up what I added to the bottle. It’s never failed me before and that’s why I want to share it with you.
The liquid base for the recipe should be consistent but you can change up what you add to the bottle. I usually just put things I find around the house. This makes for an affordable sensory bottle and saves you time since you don’t have to go shopping.
We always add glitter to every bottle we make because it gives it that sparkly magical look. I also like to add things with different weigh. Kids love watching the items fall at different speed and the different weights accomplish this beautifully.
Our bottles usually have a combination of glitter, sequins, craft beads, gems, tiny toys and any other tiny item I find at home. Get creative or let the little ones walk around the house and find what they want to add to the bottle.
The Foolproof Way to Make a Calm Down Bottle
- 850 ml VOSS water bottle (you can use any other bottle but we prefer this type)
- Rubbing alcohol (to remove the glue residue from the label on the bottle)
- Soft-soap clear hand soap
- Decorations: Craft gems, beads, sequins, tiny butterflies or any other small craft decoration you have at home
- Low temp glue gun
Drink the water from the VOSS bottle and remove the label. Use rubbing alcohol on a cloth or paper towel to scrub off the residue from the sticker.
Fill the water bottle with 3/4 cup of warm water. Using warm water helps the soap mix with the water easily.
Drop in whatever craft decorations you want to use. For this bottle we put in shiny beads, craft gems, glitter and sequins.
Fill the rest of the water bottle up with the Softsoap clear liquid hand soap. Make sure you fill it all of the way to the top because bottle works best with no air and minimal bubbles in it.
Put the lid on and move the bottle around. Once you’re sure this is how you want your bottle to look, secure the lid with a low temperature glue gun.
Put the glue around the edges to prevent leaks and also to prevent your kids from opening it and spilling the contents. Once the glue has dried your bottle is ready to use!
Let the little ones shake it, flip it over and watch the items slowly float from one end of the bottle to the other.
This makes for a very fun toy to use at home and during car rides! This is also an easy craft to make during a party or play date and one that all the kids will love.
Hope you love it as much as we do!
Is your kid obsessed with calm down bottles? Share a picture of your bottle on instagram and tag me (@mamainstincts) – I can’t wait to see it!
The Foolproof Way to Make a Calm Down Bottle Creation
Want to try this easy peasy tutorial? Save this pin for later:
Florence Thompson says
Thank you for this! I made one for my granddaughter the other day after reading this post. I switched out the Soaftsoap and used All Free And Clear laundry detergent instead, because I can get it at a much lower price lol. It worked fabulously!
I’m glad you were able to find a way this works for you. I bet your granddaughter loved it!
Excited to make these with the teachers at my school. How much glitter did you find you used? I want to be sure I have enough on hand for all of our teachers. Thanks!
Sorry for the late response, hope it’s not too late.
How much glitter we use depends on my child’s mood. Haha! We usually use around 1/4 teaspoon of glitter.
Can you use glitter glue?
Yes, you can!
Think I made mine a bit thick. Add more water maybe?
We like them thick so the glitter moves slowly but if it’s too thick for you just add water.
Carol Chang Goodwin says
Does this work with mini water bottles so kids can keep one in their desk at school?
Yes, it does!
Thank you so much for including the directions that can be printed!! So many sites don’t have it and it sure makes it so easy and efficient to print and make!!! I really appreciate it!!
Suzanne Pelletier Dressel says
If I’m using a 4 oz bottle, can you send the ratio of water to soap, please? Thanks!
It’s the same instructions for whatever bottle size you’re using so just follow the tutorial. 🙂
We made these this summer in my daycare. The kids
Loved them. 9 yrs old to 1 year old. It was so fun watching them play with. I bought tap lights for the older ones to set their bottles on. It was so cool.
Linda Brooksbank says
Oh man. I just reread the instructions. I filled 3/4 of the bottle with water (instead of 3/4 cup of water). Then I filled the other 1/4 bottle with soft soap and wondered why mine wasn’t as cool as you said. Now I understand! Lol.
3/4 cup of water. The rest clear liquid/softsoap.
Now I’ve got it.
Thank you for pointing that out! I read it incorrectly also. My next one turned out much better. Thanks, for this Great idea!
I plan to use this for an activity at the senior residence where i work. One of our residents had purchased a big box full of Voss Bottles in preparation for this activity. Sadly, she passed away before they were made. In her memory we will make these calming bottles . We all need to feel
calm, regardless of our age.❤️ Thanks for the tutorial!
I made one this week. Needless to say I’m making more this weekend. It amazes me how fun they are to make. Maybe I need a couple I can play with. I used a 16.9 oz bottle. I’m going to find some 8oz or smaller size for toddler hands.
Will the glitter eventually change water color?
Carolina | Mama Instincts® founder says
Yes, depending on the glitter. I have found some change the water color and some do not.