And that's when Debbie, one of the boys' favorite librarians, calmly walked over and held out a plastic bottle full of what looked like watery glitter. "Here," she said. "We made these this morning with a craft group. I'm curious if they actually work."
And suddenly there was silence. Absolute silence. Dash was utterly transfixed by the shifting glitter - it had stopped his full blown tantrum in an instant.
Naturally, I immediately turned to Debbie and begged her for the magic spell she had used to put the bottle together.
After that, I made two of our own and they have made an AMAZING difference in our house over the last couple of weeks. Will and Dash aren't unusually bad kids - they're pretty typical 2.5 year old toddlers - but with two of them going at once it could get pretty stressful sometimes.
I call them Calm Bottles, not out of any objection to time outs (I use 'em occasionally, mostly to buy time before I totally lose my shit) but because they work so well as a calming/distraction aid. Will and Dash love them and frequently ask to play with them, but I reserve them for situations where we need behavioral modification stat, since I don't want the bottles getting old and boring.
Magic, I'm telling you. Pure magic.
If you want to make some of your own, here are the instructions...
1 24oz/750ml plastic bottle with straight sides and a flat bottom (glitter tends to get stuck in the bumpy base of ours)
1 tube glitter glue
1 small packet - maybe 2 tablespoons? - of fine glitter (the chunky kind doesn't swirl as well)
1 4z/118ml bottle of clear glue (I used BIC, but I think Elmer's Clear School Glue might be only option in the States?)
Fill the bottle about 3/4 full with tap water, then add the tube of glitter glue, packet of glitter and all of the clear glue. Shake well, then top up with more water as needed. Glue cap on bottle before use.