Posted in Emotion Regulation

Calm Down Jars for Emotional Regulation: How to Make Them, Where to Buy Them, and How to Use Them

Calm down jars are a great resource for therapists, teachers, and parents – for a lot of children, calm down jars really help with emotional regulation.  It can also be a lot of fun to make these with children, as they then have some control over the content and color of the calm down jar.  There are a lot of different websites offering instructions on how to make them.  Some are fairly simple, while others are complex and have multiple different sizes of glitter.  I’ve listed just a few:


If you are like me and really DIY-challenged, you can also buy a calm down jar.  I bought this one off Amazon (look here) and it’s terrific – the kids like it, it’s visually appealing, and it’s sturdy.  You can also search for different colors; I got purple.

When your kiddo gets upset, you could just plop this down in front of them and tell them to watch it.  Or… you could use it as a teaching moment with a great metaphor.  You can shake up the bottle and explain that when we feel upset, our insides might feel like the shaken-up bottle.  We might feel like we have no control and that we’re about to explode!  However, it’s possible to calm down!!  Once kids understand this metaphor, I instruct them to watch the insides of the bottle settle or calm down and imagine that the same thing is happening inside of their bodies.  This makes using a calm down jar more than just a visual distraction (though I will admit that the visual distraction helps too!).

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