DIY “BE Chill” Glitter Tubes
Make your very own DIY glitter tube at home!
Kids will watch in amazement as the swirls of glitter move at their own graceful pace from one end of the tube or bottle to the other. The glitter is a visual metaphor representing our thoughts and feelings and the tube represents the mind. When we hold the tube still, the glitter settles, giving the “mind” a break.
The falling process is slower and more controlled due to the addition of glue, and the hot water keeps the glitter from clumping. Once all the glitter finally falls to the bottom (it takes a while, by design), all the kids have to do is flip the bottle and watch the whole process all over again. Ages 3+
- Teaches children about how strong emotions can take hold and how to calm the body and settle the mind when strong emotions come up
- Visual and tactile sensory play
- Great calming tool for anxiety
- An excellent aid for calm-down time
- A visual to help teach mindful breathing
- A helpful tool to explain how our thoughts can be overwhelming and how we can give our brain a break by “letting our glitter settle”
- Empty glass or plastic bottle (recommended: VOSS 500 ml/16.9 oz.)
- 1-2 cups hot water
- Great calming tool for anxiety
- ½ c. Elmer’s Clear Glue (or more if you like the glitter to fall slowly)
- Ultra-Fine/Fine glitter in assorted colors and sizes
- Food coloring that matches your glitter selections (optional)
- Small bowl
- Measuring cup
- Super Glue or Hot Glue (to seal cap)
- Optional: funnel
STEP 1: Wash each bottle in hot, soapy water before using it. Let dry and set aside.
STEP 2: Pour the glitter glue into the bowl.
STEP 3: Add hot water to the bowl. Use the whisk to mix the water and glue until the mix is no longer clumpy.
STEP 4: Add glitter to the mixture, using the whisk to make sure that it’s evenly distributed. Start with a small amount and then keep adding more glitter as needed.
STEP 5: Add one drop of food coloring in a color that compliments the color of the glitter that you used. Mix well.
STEP 6: Add additional drops of food coloring until the mixture reaches your desired hue. It’s fun to mix colors too!
STEP 7: Pour the mixture back into the measuring cup or use a funnel to transfer the mixture to the bottle.
STEP 8: Secure the lid and give the bottle a few vigorous shakes to test it out. Once the bubbles subside, add more hot water if you want the glitter to settle faster.
STEP 9: If you want the glitter to settle slower, pour the mixture back into the bowl and add more glitter glue. Mix well with the whisk.
STEP 10: Once you’re happy with your mixture, apply super glue to the lid and tighten to keep prying little hands out.
How to Use the Glitter Tube:
- Say, “The tube is like our mind and the glitter is like our thoughts in our mind.”
- Shake up the glitter tube and ask, “What happens inside the tube when we shake it up?” (the glitter is swirling around, going crazy, etc)
- Shake it up and ask, “If the glitter represents our thoughts & feelings, how might we feel on the inside right now?” (excited, scared, worried, nervous, etc)
- Hold the tube still and ask, “What is happening to the glitter when I hold the tube still?” (it settles to the bottom, it is falling down, etc)
- Ask, “How might your mind and body feel now when the glitter is settled at the bottom?” (calm, peaceful, still, content)
Imagine that the glitter is like your thoughts when you’re stressed, angry, or have strong emotions. When the glitter whirls around, the water becomes cloudy which makes it hard to see through clearly? That’s why it’s so easy to make silly decisions when you’re upset – because you’re not thinking clearly. Notice when the glitter tube is still (settled at the bottom), you can see through the water to the other side. Our minds work the same way.
Thanks for reading,
Stephanie 🧡 Founder/Owner of Balancing Elephants and creator of the BE Buddy®
PS: If you are looking for more resources to help your child build resiliency skills and habits, download the FREE Self-Care for Kids with Anxiety-A Guide for Parents today! This printable 32-page guide is a great resource to help your child develop wellness from the inside out!