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Take Control of Time-Out with this DIY Calming Jar


My three year old is very active. She has a difficult time sitting still even for things she enjoys, like movies. So, as you can imagine, time-outs were as much a punishment for me as they were for her! I found myself spending the duration of time-outs putting my daughter back in her seat.

Discussing this issue with a co-worker one day, she asked me if I had ever tried a “calming jar” for time-out. Confused, I asked her what it was and where to find one. She explained that a calming jar is a glass jar filled with water, food coloring, and glitter. When your child acts up and earns him/herself a time-out, they shake up the jar and sit in their designated time-out place until all of the glitter settles back at the bottom of the jar, and they both “calm down.”




Here’s how to assemble:

  • Find a large glass jar. I would recommend using at least a 15 oz jar (we used a recycled spaghetti sauce jar).
  • Fill the jar ¾ full of water.
  • Add a few drops of food coloring. I would suggest allowing your child to pick the color.
  • Pour in a small packet of glitter. Be sure to use only very fine glitter (almost powder-like) as most large-piece heavy glitters will only take a few seconds to settle to the bottom (I made this mistake with my first jar–my daughter really lucked out that day!)
  • Fill the remainder of the jar with water so that there is only about an inch of empty space on the top of the jar, and shake until the color and glitter blend.
  • After the glitter has settled, put the jar on a flat surface and use as needed!

What a godsend this jar has been for me! Time out for my daughter is no longer a HUGE hassle and is actually becoming constructive!

This has been a guest post by Hillary from Lansing, MI
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