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)
20 Oz bottle of Baby Oil
Fine glitter
Larger glitter/sequins
Food Coloring in blue
Shiny silver ribbon
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! 🙂


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.


How to Discipline Your Child With a Straight Face….

We’ve all been there; whether as a parent to a tiny human or someone that works in child-care. Your kid/charge does something bad but it’s ridiculous enough that it’s pretty funny, but you can’t laugh because if you’d do that, your kid/charge would think it was ok and keep doing it. So what’s a parent/care-giver to do? You are in luck dear readers, because I’ve thought about this, made a call out to my Facebook friends who are parents/care-givers and today I’m making a list of options. Enjoy!:

1. Bite the inside of your cheek: My go-to has been to bite the inside of my cheek ever so slightly to produce pain, but not so hard that I actually start bleeding. You can do this subtly enough while still looking at that cute tiny human mug, and still follow through with stern discipline.

2. Turn your head and take a breath: This one is slightly different than getting a hernia exam in that there is no coughing involved. Simply turn your head and take a moment and a breath to recenter yourself and focus on the task at hand.

3. Try to think about something sad: My go-to is to think of the Holocaust when I need to stop smiling or laughing. I imagine thinking about Donald Trump as our president would have the same result.

4. Try to divide 49,845 by 34,534 in your head. Remember to carry the 1. You may end up with a look of constipation on your face, but I guarantee you won’t be smiling or laughing.

5. As a last resort, try to imagine the grown version of your child doing the same thing. Peeing in the bushes doesn’t seem so funny when it’s done by a 30 yr-old, now does it?

Hope this list helps. You aren’t ever alone in the parenting game!



*When all else fails, Calvin’s mom recommends chanting “Serenity NOW” over and over. Image appears courtesy of pinterest