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Calming Bottles

Suggested Group(s): Young/Middle/Teen/Adult

Purpose: Identifying and managing difficult feelings

Task/need: Moving towards the pain of the loss, living on the grief spiral

Activity Setup Ideas:

  • Brainstorm and create a list of feelings they have experienced since the loss.
  • Discuss methods they have used to manage those feelings.


  • Empty water bottles
  • Warm water
  • Glitter glue
  • Food coloring
  • Beads, sequins, gems
  • Hot glue gun


  • Fill bottle 1/4 of the way with hot water.
  • Add about 1/3 of a bottle of glitter glue.
  • Secure lid and shake vigorously.
  • Remove lid and fill bottle almost completely with water.
  • If desired, add 2-3 drops of food coloring (recommend adding one drop at a time, then shaking to see the result and add more if needed).
  • If desired, add a focal point (bead, sequin, gem).
  • Glue the lid on with hot glue gun.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Silver and Gold glitter glue seem to show the best when using food coloring.
  • Dark glitter glue is difficult to see with dark food coloring (for example, blue glitter glue and blue food coloring).

Activity Wrap Up Ideas:

  • Process with the group members how they felt after watching the calming bottles. Did it slow their mind down at all?
  • The group members can take the bottle home to use as a coping tool.