Picture this, you’ve just entered the supermarket on a mission with your toddler to get the weekly essentials and your child walking alongside starts throwing goodies into the cart; a Peppa Pig complete hair and body wash set, 4 lipsticks for her make-up collection (ummm she’s 4!), sparkly hand wash, a men’s razor, and other random and unnecessary objects into the trolley. You gently remove the contents ‘not this week honey, mommy doesn’t have the money for it and you really don’t need all those things’ ‘but MOOOOOOM, I need that lipstick and, and, and, ANDDDDD the next minute she’s crying and making a scene as she drops her little body onto the floor. As you try and calm her (or him), the panic and emotions escalate until you feel yourself also about to lose your cool.
As a mom I’m sure you’ve experienced difficulty helping your children to control their emotions. Tantrums, being difficult, sulking, anxiety, aggressiveness: are all behaviors that occur when a child experiences strong, raw emotion they can’t control. Whilemany children misbehave because it gets them the golden egg —a present, food, candy or simply attention— other kids have trouble staying serene as they are highly sensitive beings.
Wherever your child falls on the above spectrum a great way to help them stay omni-present or to cut a tanty in half is with the Calm Jar. I made this with my first child when she was about 2 and every six months or so we’ve made a new one. When she’s having a moment, we get our calm jars and shake them, then sit and slowly watch the glitter settle to the bottom. I’ve explained the glitter represents her mind and when she gets angry or frustrated her emotions swirl around, but if she just breaths and stays present in the moment, sitting still, that like the glitter falling into back into place and gently settling, so will her emotions.
TIP: I suggest using plastic bottles for little ones and supergluing the top to the bottle to ensure a nasty little wet glitter bomb eruption does not occur all over your beautiful white bedspread. Just sayin’.
Recycled Plastic or Glass bottle (depending on your child’s age)
6 ounces of glitter glue (pick your kids favorite color)
Firstly, I set up the table for the girls and set out all the glitters and materials. Because this project uses boiling water, I need a distraction while I’m doing that part, so I let the girls play with the glitter. We lay out an old sheet under the table and let them pour out and play with extra glitter later during the craft.
Pull the plastic wrapper from your chosen recycled bottle. I soak mine in soapy warm water for about an hour beforehand, remove the sticker and then scrub the leftover sticky residue off gently with a scourer.
Once my bottle is ready, I then have one of the kids help me squeeze the entire contents of the glitter glue into the calm bottle. This takes some balancing so if one can hold the bottle and the other squeeze the glitter glue you can manage to transfer it from the glitter glue to the plastic or glass bottle with little overflow.
Wrap a dish towel around the plastic or glass bottle. Carefully, pour boiling water into the plastic bottle. I typically do this away from the girls as you can never be too careful. Fill the boiling water to the top. Most plastic bottles will morph shapes with the heat, so make sure the dish towel stays but.
Carefully stir the glitter glue through the hot water with the chopstick to break up the glue. This will make sure it isn’t clunky and you will get a nice separation with the water when you shake it later when its finished. Make sure you stir it well.
Let the water cool before you bring it back to the craft table so the little one can add the fine glitter particles.
Once they have added the glitter, add a thin layer of superglue to the top of the bottle and screw the lid on tightly.
Let the superglue dry for about 30 minutes and after that your little one will have their very own CALM JAR, to shake whenever they need to and help stop a tantrum in its tracks!