We’re at the end of the first week for our Activity of the Day series and I have to say that it has been quite a week. There have been many changes in the world and we’re all doing our best to find a new (temporary) normal. I would imagine that it’s been quite stressful for some of our kids too as they pick up on the big emotions of their parents and loved ones. That’s why I chose a calming activity for today.

Just because we’re at the end of the first week doesn’t mean that we’re at the end of this series. I will be continuing to post and send activity ideas every weekday – so our next one will be posted on Monday! I’ll be using this weekend to unplug a little bit, connect with family, and map out a schedule for our new normal. I want to encourage you to do the same – unplugging and connecting with our families is important right now.

Calm Down Bottles

This activity is quite simple and I’ll share a few ways that you can use it with different age groups.


  • empty bottle
  • water
  • dish soap
  • food coloring
  • vegetable oil

Set Up

  1. Fill your bottle with 2/3 of the way with water.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of dish soap for a soapy calm down bottle. OR
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and a couple drops of food coloring to a bottle for a wave bottle.
  4. Hot glue the lid or use tape to seal it shut. Test it a few times to make sure the seal is secure.
  5. Shake the bottle and watch the magic unfold.

Babies (under 1)

Sensory and calming bottles are great for our little ones to shake, roll, and explore, Color is a great addition to these bottles to draw their attention. Let these little one have fun exploring and show them what happens when you shake it up.

Toddlers (1-3)

Hand these bottles to your toddler and let them shake away. They’ll most likely enjoy looking at the bubbles and watching things transform inside. If you add color to your bottles, this is a great time to talk about those as well.

Preschoolers (3-5)

Preschoolers will enjoy these bottles as much as the little ones. You can involve them in the process of making the bottles. Let them help you fill the bottle and add the ingredients.

Big Kids (6+)

Have your big kids help with making these bottles. Show them how to gather the materials, measure out the liquids, and seal it shut. Then, let them shake the bottles and talk about what’s happening inside – such as the oil separating from the water.


I highly recommend using a bottle with a thicker plastic. This will help keep materials contained and provide more durability for prolonged play. Flimsy water bottles are not recommended for this activity. You can include these in a calm down corner to help your kiddos take a moment to focus and redirect.

This activity is a part of our Activity of the Day series. This series was created to help parents with activities to do during school closures due to the coronavirus. Check back every weekday for new activity that you can do with kids of all ages!

These bottles are great for calming and just to watch when your kiddo is feeling stressed.