Monday, September 12, 2016

The Glue that Holds Us Together (Or Drives Us Apart? You Be the Judge.)

Many months ago, several how-to pinteresty-type blog posts for DIY sensory calming bottles popped up on my Facebook feed. The bottles looked so fancy and so calming and so incredibly easy to make, so I resolved to make some for the kids....eventually.

First, I had to acquire some "Voss" bottles.  A rational person would have gone to her local grocery store to pick up a few of these bottles and just gotten the job done. But, I'm not rational. I'm also extremely forgetful. For months I forgot to check out the bottled water aisle when doing my grocery shopping. Then one day, a 12-pack of Voss water popped up on sale on my favorite online shopping site, so I bought it.

Two days later, my twelve bottles of "artisan" water arrived. Ren was not impressed. In fact, Ren was downright hostile about the fact that I'd been so easily duped into paying a high price for water just because the packaging was pretty. I pointed out that I'd only paid 89 cents a bottle. This only confirmed his deepest regrets about my life choices. I thought about explaining the glitter and the glue and the little floating diamonds, but I knew he wouldn't understand.

The arrival of the Voss bottles was unheralded, and it led to a lot of commotion at our house. What were these fancy bottles, and what in the world was artisan still water? The kids didn't believe me when I told them it was just water and that I just bought it so I could use the bottles. They remained convinced that somehow Voss water was better than our usual water and fought each other over the right to drink the water for dinner and at snack time. (Note: This just goes to show the power of packaging. I feel a bit like a failure because my kids were SO taken by these bottles.)

Soon, I had eight empty Voss bottles. But, the shape of the bottle and the narrowness of its neck made it difficult to dry them out (plus I'm forgetful), so they sat for days on the kitchen counter. It seems the Voss water on our kitchen counter and the empty bottles in the drying rack served as a constant reminder for Ren of my my gullibility.
The last four Voss water bottles still sitting on the counter.
Eventually Ren had a mini-meltdown about the bottles drying eternally on the counter. So, I put them all in a plastic bag and stashed them in a desk drawer. It took me three more weeks to find time to shop for the glitter and the glue. Which brings us to yesterday...

Finally, all the pieces came together (in other words, I got 45 minutes to myself so I could run to the craft store and stock up on bottle fillers), and Pink and I made our first calming bottle. We used rainbow glitter glue, rainbow glitter, and about three tablespoons worth of clear Elmer's Glue. Then we super glued the lid on (and four of my fingers).
Attempt #1--The glitter separates from the water and falls quickly to the bottom of the bottle.
Pink and I deemed this attempt a success. Sky pointed out that the large, coarse glitter was too heavy for the extremely fine glitter glue glitter, and that the whole thing flowed way too fast. Without using the precise word, he was talking about my problem with viscosity.

So, when the kids went to bed, I tried again. This time I used two tubes of glitter glue and about 10 tablespoons of clear glue. I didn't use any of the coarse glitter, but I did add some plastic fish in an attempt to make it a sea-themed calming jar. The kids agreed that I got the viscosity right on this one, but no one was sure they liked how the plastic fish "swam" through the bottle. No matter how thickly I applied the glue, it couldn't slow them down.

Attempts #1 and #2. side by side.
I decided to try smaller do dads together with two tubes of glitter glue, 8 table spoons of clear glue, and 1/4 of a container of coarse glitter. The letters work a little better than the fish, but they are still not light enough. The next time I get to the craft store, I think I will pick up some themed confetti to try. I'm still waiting on my water beads. They should come in the mail soon.
Big sea creatures and small letters. Both are still too big.
Three of them with the same time lapse. The middle one is the least viscous while the green one has the most glue.
Once I put these three bottles together, Ren FINALLY seemed to understand why I was willing to pay 89 cents for a bottle of water. And, in theory, these are a great idea. In practice, though, the small Voss bottles are ideal projectiles in the hands of a rambunctious 5 year-old. And Ren really, really, really hates glitter. I think we all know how this is going to end. Ren has already told me that he fully expects to replace all the carpet in the house when one of these bottles spills. Here's hoping these bottles have more going for them than their good looks!

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