How to make a totally FREE Calm-Down Bottle

Our son was diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism last year. Over the summer, we’ve tried to keep him as busy as possible. His counselor suggested this summer camp the county was hosting. So, of course we signed him for it. It was an opportunity for him to meet new kids who are more like him. Plus, he learned new ways to cope with some of his anxiety and anger.

One of the tools they taught him was how to use an anxiety (or calm-down) bottle. So instead of requiring the parents to buy a $20 bottle from one of the specialty stores; they made their own.

calm-down bottle

This is all you need to make your own Calm-Down Bottle:
  • -1 water bottle (we used an old Brisk tea bottle, because it was bigger)
  • -Funnel
  • -Food coloring of your choice
  • -Water (enough to fill the bottle about ¾ and a bit extra to fill up to the neck)
  • -Beadery Beads, Perler beads, glitter, rubber hair bands or just about anything else you have lying around the house. We used beadery and perler beads. My son suggested we add sprinkles, but I talked him out of that idea pretty quickly.

Super-easy instructions:
  1. Use the funnel to fill the bottle about ¾ with water. (I let my son do this step.)
  2. Add a few drops of food coloring. The more coloring you use, the darker the water will be. Shake the bottle to see if the water has the color you want. Of course, make sure you close the bottle before you shake. J
  3. Now, you can add a handful of beads. (My son did this as well.)
  4. Fill the bottle with more water (to just below the neck of the bottle). You could leave a little more air in the bottle and squeeze some of it out before you close the bottle. This will let your little one squeeze the bottle and see the beads float. Our son prefers to just shake the bottle and watch the beads float.

calm-down bottle

Of course, you can make some really nice calm-down bottles with glitter glue and VOSS water bottles. But the point of this post is for you to be able to create this extremely useful tool without much effort and for FREE! Personally, I cannot believe how well this works for him. It’s been a struggle trying to get him to use it at first. But once he started using it, it worked wonders!

I hope you like this idea and try it yourself.

This post will also be featured in The Veteran’s Wife Magazine Issue 6. Be sure to check out what the gals over at The Veteran’s Wife are doing. They’ve created a great network for veteran spouses and families!
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Disclaimer: Everything I share is solely based on my personal experience and is for informational purposes only. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please view my disclosure policy.


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