Weekly Kid’s Co-op…Ocean “Chill-Out” Bottles: Because Nothing Calms the Soul Like Time on the Beach!

“Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.” Β ~Robert Henri

Yesterday, we played in the Mermaid’s Lagoon…and today we are going to stay at the beach a little longer.

Maybe it’s because there is a pile of snow and cold outside that I don’t want to look at.

I’m dreaming of warm sand and pretty blue tidal pools. There is something very soothing about the ocean and it’s beaches. Everything just seems to be that much better when you can smell the salty air and feel the sand between your toes. Troubles sort themselves out and one can breathe a little deeper.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Lately we have had a few tantrums happening here at Small Potatoes. Growing pains, mostly. There have been some shifts and upheavals that can seem quite overwhelming when you are small. New friends, new independence, and having to get up when it’s DARK! Nothin’ messes with a little human more than seasonal “light” changes. Heck, it even messes ME up.

The point is, we needed a calming tool. I have seen the “time-out” bottles all over Pinterest and have always thought they were brilliant. If you haven’t seen them yet, they are basically a bottle or a jar filled with water and glitter. You have the child shake the jar and sit and watch the glitter settle to the bottom, thus giving them a chance to settle their own emotions. It really is a good idea. And so we all worked together to make our time-out bottles into our own piece of ocean to sit with and watch when things get rocky and unsettled.

Here is how you can do it too…

Start by having all your supplies ready. Nothing makes a 2 yr old more cranky than having to wait! You’ll need…I used clean play sand so the water would not get too murky. You will also need…The point is to have the children create their own bottle, so the proper tools are essential to avoid frustration amongst the smalls.

You’ll need little ocean accessories to put in your bottles. here is an example of what kinds of things you could use…The only thing I would have you remember, is to make sure your accessories sink, as that is the point of these bottles; you sit and watch as the items in the bottle settle to the bottom. The glitter we used was too “flaky” and so all the pieces did NOT sink. This was more disappointing to me than it was to the smalls, mind you.

Once each child has their own bottle in front of them, have them take turns filling their bottle part way up with sand…

They may fill it too full, in which case they can just pour some back out into the bowl. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss the concepts “more”and “less” with toddlers.

Once they have enough sand, they can choose the ocean accessories they’d like to put inside their bottles…

Such excellent fine-motor control practice!It was so much fun watching the little ones try to see what they had just put inside their bottles…They had to make sure their little critters and shells landed inside the bottle!

Once they are happy with what’s inside their bottles, you can pass them a Tbsp of glitter and a funnel. If your bottles are bigger, you can double the glitter. Letting them pour the sparkles in themselves helps foster confidence in their own independence…

After the glitter is inside the bottle, the only thing left to do is add water!In between each scoop, have the children check their water levels so they can practice estimating how many more scoops they will need…Fasten the lid tightly, add a bit of glue to the lid if you want to avoid accidents, and then let the children shake the bottles and watch them settle!This is an excellent tool to use when your little one just needs a break from the business of learning the world around her. Let her take her bottle to a comfy chair and escape to her own little beach, and just breathe. All those skills and manners, letters, numbers, shapes, and coordination she is learning as she grows will ALL be there when she gets back.

Don’t forget that today is the Weekly Kid’s Co-op and that means YOU get to escape for a while. Browse through the other fantastic ideas that have already been shared and if you’d like, link up YOUR idea by following the simple steps your will see once you’ve clicked the link below. Enjoy!
The Weekly Kid's Co-op


Thanks for stopping by!

~Arlee, Small Potatoes

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27 thoughts on “Weekly Kid’s Co-op…Ocean “Chill-Out” Bottles: Because Nothing Calms the Soul Like Time on the Beach!

  1. Love these and look forward to incorporating this idea into one of our sessions next summer when we “dive in” to all things wet and wonderful. I agree, there is nothing more soothing and generally appealing than the sensations of the sea and shore, and the kiddos definitely are enthralled by the world in, under, and around the sea. Thanks for another great post. I am in awe of your photodocumenting skills! I wish I had the knack with the camera that you do.

  2. I love the ocean bottles! We have a mind jar which seems very boring in comparison! If you add some glycerin to the water, it will help to make the objects sink to the bottom a bit slower (and a tiny bit of liquid soap will prevent the glitter from clumping).

    • My mum found them at the pharmacy where she works. I believe they are called Safari Pets…maybe you can find them online? I have seen them at specialty toy shops, too. If I’m wrong about the name, I’ll get back to you!! πŸ™‚

  3. Arlee… this is absolutely beautiful. I think I need to make this for myself! The look on the little one’s face as she’s gazing into the bottle… that’s how I want to feel today – thank you for sharing such a wonderful idea:)

  4. I love that you are calling them “chill out” bottles. . . . .rather than “time out” bottles. . . . .chilling out is so much happier πŸ™‚

  5. I made them with my kids. The dish soap and glycerin definitely help. Unfortunately we couldn’t find animals that were small enough to fit in the bottles, so ours are just a whole lot of differently sized and shaped shells, glitter and some polished glass. It took two attempts to make them ‘perfect’-the first time i made the water too dark and my kids went sand crazy :). I had enough liquid and sand left over to make a large size chill out bottle. Kids are already having fun with them. Thanks for the great idea :).

  6. Love the idea tried it at home to c how it would turn out, we used a taller bottle and glitter that was quite. We found most of the glitter stays at the top of the bottle instead of of floating to the bottom. Have u any ideas y this happens.

  7. Pingback: Find the dinosaurs, look at the sparkles | The Beta Parent

  8. Pingback: The Importance of Teaching your Kids How to Relax

  9. Pingback: A – E in the ABCs of Sensory Play | Creative Playhouse

  10. Pingback: 15 Play Ideas to Help Children Calm Down and Relax | Creative Playhouse

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