DIY Aquarium/Calm Down Bottle….

So my mom retired a few years ago, but she used to work as a developmental therapist for infants and children up to three years of age. Because of this, she always had a plethora of toys to use in therapy with the kids. One of these toys she made herself. And today I’m going to teach you how to make one yourself. Now normally she used a smaller soda bottle, like a 20 oz’er, but I’m using a 2 liter bottle and it worked just as well. Although a smaller bottle would be better for smaller hands to hold.

This weekend Chad and I celebrated the first birthday of our niece. I still can’t believe it’s been a year since she was born. One of the gifts she received from us is an actual aquarium in a bottle that I made myself.

Here is what you are going to need:

Two liter bottle-Needs to be clear for best results (slowly peel off the label)
Water
20 Oz bottle of Baby Oil
Fine glitter
Larger glitter/sequins
Food Coloring in blue
Shiny silver ribbon
Scissors
Marker
Red Paper clips
Hot glue/Glue gun

After peeling off the bottle label, rinse out the bottle and wipe dry. Take 3/4 of the bottle of baby oil and pour it into the bottle. Then take the shiny ribbon and marker and draw fish shapes into the ribbon and cut them out. Take your red paper clips and twist them into sea-horse shapes (If you can’t do it by memory, no worries. I had to google the basic shape. 😉 ).

Then fill up the remaining bottle space with water, leaving about 4 inches at the top. Drop in your fish shapes. Then drop in food coloring but start with one to two drops so it doesn’t get too dark. Keep adding color until it’s blue enough but you can still see the fish shapes (I put in 5-10 drops and that was too much to where it was harder to see the fish shapes).

Finally, plug-in your glue gun and put some hot glue into the cap of the bottle and also around the threads on the bottle top. Screw on the bottle cap and then run a line of glue around the bottom edge of the cap.

(As an optional last step, you can cut out a sign to put on the bottle with the child’s name and “Aquarium” to personalize it).

When your aquarium is finished, turn it on its side and shake it to make the fish swim.

Use this bottle in every day play with your baby or when they are fussy as a way to get them to relax.

Alternatively if you didn’t want to make an aquarium, use the same steps as above but fill the bottle with small bouncy balls, ribbon or other small objects. For older children, you can do this and create an “I Spy” game by making a list of objects the child has to find in the bottle when they look at it and turn it around.

Happy Crafting! 🙂

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The contents are easily seen in person, but the lighting was just too bright here. If you look carefully you can sorta see the fish shapes floating around.

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