Hush Bottles: the calm down solution

We have been working on perfecting our glitter bottles for some time now and have finally come up with the perfect “hush” bottles!

hush bottles

Hush Bottles: The Calm Down Solution

We started out with these “calm down” bottles:

calm down bottles

Next, we improved them drastically in version 2:

glitter bottles

We really liked the version 2 glitter bottles and we use them at the kitchen table often, but they just weren’t exactly “it.”

Then one day I saw this pin on Pinterest and knew immediately these would be THE perfect glitter bottles!

The blog post “Relax Bottle/Time Out Timer” was written by Johanna over at My Crazy Blessed Life.  Her photos of the glitter bottles are stunning and I especially liked seeing the photos of them in action with her daughter.  It gave me hope that these might work wonders for us, too!

We followed her directions — see her post here to find out the materials you need and the steps to make your own! — and made a purple bottle for Lilah and a blue bottle for Luke.  Here are L&L helping to make the bottles.  It made for some good fine motor practice!

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Here are our completed bottles in various stages of “shaken-ness.”  Trust me when I say that these photos do not do the bottles justice; they are stunningly gorgeous!

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Here’s a horribly amateur video I shot of our bottles just so you can see how swirly the glitter is and how it gradually settles.  Our bottles settle at about the same rate normally, so I obviously didn’t shake the purple bottle as well as the blue in this case…

In addition to being pretty, these bottles are smart, too!  They really have a lot going for them.  Luke calls these our Hush Bottles.  I don’t know how he came up with that, but it’s the perfect name for them.  When the kids are really upset, I’ll hand them their bottle or they’ll go get it and sit on the couch.  Oh, it’s not ever an instant fix, but then after a few minutes, something magical happens and well…they hush!  It’s very possible that perhaps they just become completely mesmerized by the falling glitter!

See, here’s Luke.  Watch the progression of him calming down.

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And here’s Lilah.  Her big poked-out lip melts me every time.

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Why make a hush bottle?  Well, they are simply gorgeous to look at and that in itself was reason enough for me!  Mostly we use ours just for fun.  The kids like to shake them up and put them on the kitchen table to watch the glitter slowly fall.  It’s very calming and therapeutic.  And when the kids sometimes get into those out-of-sorts, “I can’t calm myself down” moods where nothing I can say or do as a parent seems to stop the whining and crying, this thing really seems to help speed the process of helping them to calm themselves down!  Some people also find these useful as activity timers, timeout timers, and as calm-down tools for the classroom!

If you need a “calm down” solution, would like a kid-friendly timer, or just want to make something beautiful, head on over to My Crazy Blessed Life and get started on your own “hush” bottle.  Thanks, Johanna!

hush bottles

Have you made your own hush bottles?

This post may contain affiliate links.

Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • Mama Mandy says:

    I like this idea much better than the glass jar ones! Thanks for sharing…now I just need to make three for my oldest three kiddos.

  • Cariokie says:

    Love this! Need to make some for my special needs pre-k class! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks! We’ll be making these this week in preparation for a 6 hr road trip.

  • Johanna says:

    Thanks for the link! I’m so glad it’s helping your kids like it helped mine 🙂

  • Elizabeth says:

    The smart water bottles are just perfect. Even after reading the other post I am not sure exactly what to put in them. Am I right it is hot water, clear glue, fine glitter, and glitter glue? I need one of these bottles like yesterday for of my daycare kiddos 😉

    • Yep, I think that was it. We added extra glitter — lots I think, but you can play around with it until you get it the way you like it. I played with mine for several days to get them just right before I glued the top on.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know these bottles as sensory bottles. I use to make them for the children in the class room. Real easy to make. One can put just about anything in a bottle. One can also make sensory bags by using zip lock bags and just making sure its taped really good.

  • Gina says:

    Those are wonderful! It’s great to see that they actually help the littles! 🙂

  • Kaely says:

    I tried the glitter jars/bottles but I never could find the consistency I was looking for. So instead we have ooze tubes that I ordered from Amazon. The kids each have their own and they really like them.

  • Anonymous says:

    I made these bottle for my two sons (2 & 3). I brought one in to show a co-worker. Now we have made 12 for my co-workers to have at their desks at work! These bottles are calming for grown ups as well as kids!

  • shanna258 says:

    If you are struggling to get that perfect “swirly-ness” try using silver or gold liquid watercolors. We get them from Discount School Supply and they are amazing.

  • Anonymous says:

    thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous says:

    THANK YOU!!! I’m making ours tomorrow! One for my 3.5 yr old, one for mommy, so I can calm down and she has a visual cue to leave mommy be until the glitter settles, and several for the classroom with different consistency levels to keep focus issues on track with less stress as a countdown timer. Thank you again!

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a preschool teacher for 3 year olds. I have made 4 of these! When any of the kids start to have a melt down i have them sit down and hold a bottle. They chill out and put the bottle away and go back to playing. I have some who ask for “one of my bottles”

  • Chelsea says:

    What a fantastic idea! Your children are absolutely ADORABLE by the way! Thanks for sharing this!

  • Anonymous says:

    I am in the process of making 2 bottles….right now, and it is not quite right. When you say a bottle of glitter glue what size are you talking about? I used an 8 ounce glitter glue bottle and 5 ounce clear glue bottle, and a 33 ounce water bottle ( 1 liter ) . It just seems to sit there and not move. Any thoughts?

  • Anonymous says:

    Just out of curiosity, about how long does it take the glitter to settle?

  • Anonymous says:

    Isn’t that sort of like rewarding them for bad behavior? A cool toy they only get to play with if they pitch a fit?

    • It’s really more of a therapy tool for helping kids to calm down. Sometimes kids’ emotions are too strong for them to handle well on their own, and this gives them a tool to help themselves calm down. It’s especially good for kids who may have sensory integration disorders or just easily become “overloaded” and out of sorts. Not all kids need something to help them calm down, but I won’t lie — this glitter bottle is pretty calming for adults, too. There’s lots of information out there about sensory integration and calming techniques if you care to Google it, and I’m sure many OTs and PTs use this type of therapy with kids they see. 🙂

      • My son’s kindergarten teacher made some of these for the children including for my son when he would be very frustrated with his school work and it worked great with him and the other kids

    • Anonymous says:

      i agree, this does seem like a reward for bad behavior, i can see if they are just not calming down (maybe around nap time) how these would be useful but as far as a time out tool, im not sure giving a kid a fun toy to play with really sets in the punishment. maybe shake the bottle, set it on a table, and tell them when the glitter is at the bottom they can get up?

      • Julie says:

        I think the key here is that people are using time out as a punishment. Time out needs to be a space for kids to calm down and to be able to come back to join the group. I think these bottles fit the bill perfectly. I’ve worked as a nursery nurse in the UK for nearly 40 years and had 2 of my own children and 2 grandchildren. I’ll certainly be making one for my 3 year old grandson to use at my house

  • Marilyn says:

    Do you think it would work in my grade 1-2 class?

  • Anonymous says:

    I made one and it moves very very slow (hours). I filled a pop bottle with water, a bottle of glitter glue and added some glitter. Can someone share how they made theirs work so the glitter will settle in about 5 minutes. I love the idea and am excited to use it. Thanks!

  • Sandra says:

    I have made these for my office. I am a school counselor and have them in various sizes and shapes and times to settle. Some just have water and glitter/confettie. Some have clear water, some are colored. Some settle quick and some slow so when a student, and lets be honest teacher, needs it they choose which one they need. And sometimes they come in just to shake it up and then walk away and I am fine with that.

    I added baby oil to some of them because that makes them settle a bit slower. I have played around with these a lot to get them just the way I like them. I gave one to my two grandkids (5 &3) and they use it as their time out counter. It is a great way to use up empty bottles.

    Oh, and I took a small one and filled it with rice and “hidden” little things, pom-poms, dice, beads, charm like toys and the kids love to look for the hidden objects when they are bored.

  • Anonymous says:

    This looks like a very good idea and would like to try it. Once everything is mixed together and the bottle is sealed any idea of if the products will go bad? Or does the preservatives in the glue help keep the water and glitter in sparkling condition? Thank you for sharing.

  • Pinkonlypink says:

    I used a lot more glue than I thought, but finished 2 for my classroom. I have a color coded behavior chart that goes from green to yellow to orange to red. I used corresponding colors and timed each for that color’s “time out”. So if a kid is on yellow, they grab the yellow bottle, shake, put it on the table and 5 minutes later the glitter is settled and they can go play. Same with orange except it takes 10 minutes for it to settle. Green is good and red is uh-oh, so I only needed yellow and orange. Thank you!

  • Pinkonlypink says:

    I used a lot more glue than I thought, but finished 2 for my classroom. I have a color coded behavior chart that goes from green to yellow to orange to red. I used corresponding colors and timed each for that color’s “time out”. So if a kid is on yellow, they grab the yellow bottle, shake, put it on the table and 5 minutes later the glitter is settled and they can go play. Same with orange except it takes 10 minutes for it to settle. Green is good and red is uh-oh, so I only needed yellow and orange. Thank you!

  • TinyTyrant says:

    I love this idea! I almost bought the supplies today at the store, but I have a question about the glitter you used. Do the glitter glue & extra-fine glitter have to match in color? Or do you use different colors? (Like pink & silver, or pink & purple?) The bottles in your pictures seem to have two different colors…or is that just the camera flash? I’d like to know what you think works best. Thanks! 🙂

    • We did the same color family, but different tints of the same colors (like glue might have been dark blue but glitter was bright blue) if I remember correctly. I don’t think you can really go wrong… Just know that whatever colors you use might combine to make it look like a new color — like red and blue glitter might actually make your bottle look purple-y when shaken. I’m not positive, but that is a thought.

  • Dee Sunday says:

    These remind me of the glitter wands I had as a kid except in a bottle… 🙂 <3 it

  • Melissa says:

    I made my bottle this evening. Looks good but it has glitter and bubbles that settled at the top. Any clue as to why?

  • […] first discovered it on Pinterest thanks to In Lieu of Preschool and then dug a little deeper to find the original post published at My Crazy Blessed […]

  • My boys and I made these. One for my youngest and five to give to moms with young kids. They were a huge hit and an awesome “penny of time” for the day! Thanks!

  • […] a year and a half ago — was it really that long? — we shared our perfect hush bottles with you. Those calm down glitter bottle / mind jars / sensory bottles were a big hit in our […]

  • Uncle & Aunt says:

    My wife and I made two for our nieces. We skipped the glitter glue. We used Cascade Ice drink bottles that use very little label glue so a little goo-gone is all that is needed to remove the label. Fill bottle about 3/4 of very hot tap water right in the bottle, we added 4 oz of very fine dry glitter, then 2 fluid ounces of Aleene’s Clear Tacky Glue. Seal and shake often while the water is hot. When the bottle is still warm, uncap and fill the bottle to the rim with very hot water and recap. Keep shaking until clumps are gone. The next day the cooled bottles will require another few drops of any temp of tap water to top them off. Recap and enjoy, they settle in 3 minutes.

  • […] my inspiration/to do list … Rainbow Rice Eye Spy Bottle from Pink and Green Mama  Hush Bottles from In Lieu of Preschool  Recyled Water Bottle Vase from Remodelando la Casa And when our […]

  • Amanda says:

    HELP…ANYONE…I just made one of these timeout bottles (using very hot water) and followed the directions but it didn’t turn out right! The glitter splits, either rising to the top or sinking to the bottom with perpetual floaters in between. Is there anything I can do to fix it? What did I do wrong?? Thanks!

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  • […] Dark Glitter one. I see these on Pintrest all the time. They go by many names, including “Hush Bottles.” I really liked them and when I made my Halloween-themed alchemy set (that I’m keeping […]

  • […] you need a way to help your child calm down after a tantrum these bottles can do just the trick. They are gorgeous to look at and kids love watching the […]

  • […] Hush Bottle from In Lieu of Preschool […]

  • Anonymous says:

    I just have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this! My son is 6 and diagnosed with ADHD and what they are now calling Oppositional Defiance Disorder (he hates authority) so getting him to do ANYTHING let alone a time out is 20x’s harder than with another child. I gave him his own “hush bottle” and even a screaming, kicking, name calling tantrum calms down in one or two “cycles” of these gems!!! I love them and have several stashed around the house for just this reason!!! Again, THANK YOU!!! You’ve helped to restore sanity to my life!

  • Gidget says:

    If you want a little perservative. A splash of vodka should work fine.

  • Gidget says:

    If you want to add a preservative – a splash of vodka should work fine.

  • Dawn Fassbender says:

    What happens when they figure out how to get the bottle open?

  • Sharon says:

    Just made 2 with my son and used very hot water, however, my glitter glue is very chunky still and it settles so quickly! Did I do something wrong? Please help. Thanks

  • […] Hush Bottle from In Lieu of Preschool […]

  • Montina says:

    Wow! These look so pretty! I have an 8yr old autistic son & I am constantly on the search for any activities or help for him that I can find. I think this would be wonderful to try with him! Thank you so much for sharing! Have a wonderful day!

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