Make glitter bottles to help calm your child

A glitter bottle can help calm your child when they feel stressed or overwhelmed. You can make a glitter bottle at home – then give it a shake, and watch the glitter settle.

Get your child to help you make a glitter bottle and enjoy it together. Or let them look at the way the glitter falls.

You can also use a glitter bottle as a countdown timer if your child struggles with moving from one activity to another. Explain to your child that when all the glitter has fallen you will be changing activity. This could be putting away the tablet, getting dressed or tidying their toys for example.

Glitter bottle ingredients

  • A 500ml plastic bottle (you can also use glass jars with older children).
  • A jug of warm or hot water.
  • A couple of drops of food colouring.
  • About 100g glitter (or until you’re happy with the ratio). 
  • Glitter glue or PVA glue (the more you use, the slower the glitter will move and fall). 
  • Super glue or a hot glue gun. 

How to make a glitter bottle

  • Squeeze some glitter glue or PVA glue into the empty bottle. Both work well, but glitter glue shows up the glitter better because the glue is clear.
  • Pour the water in, leaving a few inches free at the top. The warm water will help dissolve the glue.
  • Add your glitter into the bottle. If you’ve used glitter glue you may not need as much. 
  • Replace the lid on the bottle and twist it closed. Then shake the bottle to mix the glitter and water together (you may want to do this outside or over the bath).
  • Once the glitter has settled, use either super glue or a hot glue gun to seal the lid onto the bottle to stop any leaks.

You can also try a soothing box, to help your child feel calm and safe. Or if your child is a little older, draw a worry tree together to work through concerns.

happy childhood icon

This advice was written by our experienced Parent Talk coaches. Parent Talk is a free online service for parents and carers, provided by the charity Action for Children. For more advice, message our parenting coaches with our online chat.

More wellbeing activities

Talk to us

Talk about the issues that are worrying you with a parenting coach. Use our free and confidential online chat.