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In the Montessori training course I am taking right now, they talk about a new approach to time out that involves giving kids something constructive to do while regulating their behavior rather than having them sit in time out with nothing constructive to focus on. In Montessori parlance this approach is referred to as the “peace table” or “peace corner.”
We have used time out from time to time as a tool to get my kids’ behavior under control, but I have realized that this was not the best approach for helping my kids regulate themselves when they were out of control. So I was intrigued by the peace corner approach, but wasn’t sure what focus object to give them as a tool for calming down. Then I learned about calm down bottles, and knew we had to try them out!
From other calm down bottles I had seen online, I loved the beautiful sensory experience they provide. And after creating our glittery calm down bottles, I was not disappointed!
Note: For more sensory activities, see my sensory play page.
The materials we used to create our calm down bottles included:
- Clear plastic water bottles (used the Smart water brand for their smooth shape)
- Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue 4oz
- Glitter – we chose red and gold
- Elmer’s Washable Glitter Glue
- Glue gun (not pictured)
If you want to know how much of each item to add to your calm down bottle, I suggest you do as we did and follow the recipe at My Crazy Blessed Life.
We started by adding the glitter to our bottles.
Then we added the clear glue.
Then we added the glitter glue. QBoy chose red and XGirl chose yellow (aka, gold).
Once all the ingredients were in, I sealed the caps with a hot glue gun. Then I handed the bottles back to the kids to shake.
At first, everything kind of clumped together and I wasn’t sure the bottles were going to work out.
But we kept shaking and shaking the ingredients until they spread out. And then the result was mesmerizing!
Shaking the bottles resulted in a beautiful swirl of colorful glitter that lasted quite a while before settling.
For more sensory activities, see my Sensory Play page or follow my Sensory Play board on Pinterest.
Follow Katie @ Gift of Curiosity’s board Sensory play on Pinterest.
Products mentioned in this post:
Emma @ P is for Preschooler
These are lovely! I’m very interested in the Montessori “peace corner” idea in place of time-out. I’ll have to look into that more!
I love the idea of the peace corner rather than having a child sit in a chair for a few minutes as a time out. The only thing that may concern me is if a child opens one of these bottles and it is noticed after the fact! Might be a bit of a mess.
Use hot glue and tape to secure the lid!
I think i need to try one of these with my 4 year old as we ve been struggling with some of his behaviour this summer! I like the idea of focusing on something rather than just trying to sit them down somewhere to calm down. It makes much more sense. #kidscoop
That’s what I thought too! It was a big “well, duh!” moment for me to realize that having something to focus on would be more calming than just having to sit and be bored. 🙂
I am not a big fan of time out, love the idea of the peace corner, i sometimes refer to it as the thinking chair. Any other ideas for it, as I think the bottles would take along time to make in a busy classroom, and somebody would have to sit with the child.
Another idea would be a small minute-long hourglass like timer. Kids could simply watch the sands fall through the timer for a minute and at the end of the minute they could get up if they were feeing calmer or turn the timer to observe it for another minute if they still needed more time to calm down.
I love the idea of changing it from time out to peace corner. I also love the idea of the calming bottles, my 3 yr old has anxiety and has recently been having panic attacks. The calming bottle may help her recover from the attack quicker than other methods we’ve tried.
Good luck! Hopefully you can find something that will work!
I don’t have a glue gun – could I seal it with anything else? I think this is great and would be good for my son’s hand development too.
I’ve only tried a glue gun, but I suppose copious amounts of duct tape or anything else that prevents kids from unscrewing the lid might work as well.
Did you also put water on it or is only glue love the idea
I did add water. Click through to the link where I got the recipe for more details!
At what age do you recommend starting this?
My kids are 4 and 5, but you could start younger if it would be helpful to them. I think the main risk is ensuring the bottle doesn’t open. I superglued the caps on so my kids couldn’t open them, but they are plastic bottles and will crack if thrown around too much or handled too roughly.
I like this idea, but I worry that this might actually increase instances of problematic behavior. Kids who enjoy these might mistake the time out as being a reward with this sensory bottle and increase their behavior to gain access. I do believe they would be great at calming kids with anxiety issues, though.
On the other hand, if a kid likes these so much that they are willing to sit and self-calm with them, wouldn’t that be the goal of the time out? For me a time out is not about punishment, but about giving the child to self-regulate so he or she can make good choices.
Looking forward to this.
I’m very interested by the “peace corner” idea, so much more positive and engaging than time out on a chair, as many have said above..Thank you!
I have been making sensory bottles too. I have used mineral oil (from Ikea) and mixed it with water, glitter, food colouring and added shells, big glitter… The water and food colouring mix together but not the oil, it gives it movement, rather like the sea rolling in. The children love it!
We put warm water in measuring cup (one for crafts only) and then place glitter glue in water. Whisk until no clumps then pour into bottle. Works much better.
Thanks for the tip!
I am a retired preschool teacher.I love the Peace Corner idea. As for sealing the sensory bottles, I found that rubbing Karo syrup around the top of the bottle and also on the inside of the lid works great. Screw the lid on the bottle and let it dry.
What a great tip about the Karo syrup. Thanks for sharing!
This is an amazing idea! Will be trying it out tomorrow. Just wondering why we need the glitter glue, or can it be eliminated?
We used glitter glue because it was colorful. Without it the bottle would mostly have been white or clear. But you can certainly try it with regular glue and see what the result looks like!