One thing I have learned so far in kindergarten is the importance of a calm down corner. A place where my students can go to be by themselves and get it together before rejoining the class! At this age children are learning how to handle and cope with different emotions and it is our job to guide them through the journey.
One of the newest additions to our calm down corner is a sensory bottle. I’m sure all of you have seen the sensory bottles all over Pinterest and Instagram lately! They are so fun! Even useful for me sometimes!
I want to share with you my first sensory bottle and how I use it in my classroom!
- Voss plastic bottle
- Glitter glue
- Loose glitter of different sizes – mine is from the dollar store!
- Hot water
- Wire Wisk
- Goo gone – to get the voss sticker off
- Paper towel
- Gorilla glue
- Peel of stickers and use goo gone and paper towel to remove residue.
- Set out supplies and warm up about 1.5 cups of water in the microwave so it’s hot. (If you use the smaller bottles use less water. Leave room to add water/glitter/beads etc)
- Poor about 1/3-1/2 of glitter glue into hot water and stir.
- Add any other glitter until you get the colors you want!
- Poor into the Voss bottle.
- Add more water or glitter until desired color/consistency is reached!
- Close the bottle and try it out!
- When you are satisfied with the bottle put gorilla glue around the top and lid of the bottle and close to secure shut.
How I use sensory bottles in my classroom:
There are many ways to use a calm down bottle in your classroom! One of my favorites is when the class is being really rowdy and loud I will put the glitter bottle on my stool in the front of the room. I will let the class know they have been told many times that the voice level expectation was a level one whisper and they have had trouble. So now we will calm our bodies and voices as a class and be at a voice level zero (no talking) until the glitter hits the bottom of the bottle. My large calm down bottle takes about 15 minutes for all of the glitter to fall! That is a nice 15 minutes to reset the group and make expectations clear for centers, group and independent work!
I also like to have a sensory glitter bottle in my calm down kit. If a child gets upset or angry and needs to self soothe they may go to our calm down corner and choose something from the calm down kit. Teach the child to shake the bottle up and focus on the glitter falling to the bottom. I also teach them to take big, deep breaths that are slow like the glitter falling. This will help distract them and allow them to calm down and focus on the root problem then use their words to communicate to me why they are so upset.
I hope this easy recipe creates a fun and rewarding calm down tool for your classroom! Share your pictures and let us know how you use yours by tagging us or using #teacherstodaystudentsforever !