As a foster mom with little ones and an educator at heart, I'm always reading into ways to help my babies deal with the trauma they go through. I used these in my classroom years ago and they help children extend their focus, give them a sense of calm, and they enjoy finding these treasures among their toys.
Originally, published under my Unveiled Mom blog, I decided it was a better fit under Kids Crafts here. It's something kids can help make and benefits them greatly.
Here's something interesting I've learned. One of the things about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RADS) is that when children with RADS are introduced to the unexpected , being events or people, they can shut down. Before it was even suggested that we had a possible RADS child in our home I thought the symptoms were him, being shy or unaffectionate. I honestly just thought it was his personality. Then a therapist asked about particular scenarios and the reactions. A flood of memories came rushing in on me with each question. It broke my heart to learn that internally, my boy was shutting down as a coping mechanism. His little body would go into tiny panic mode until he could process the situation and judge how others would react. If the situation felt unpredictable the tiny panic button stayed pushed down.
Then, I read about calming bottles. As beautiful as they are and as fun as they are to make, they served a huge purpose. We have made up several different ones for fun and to see which one he liked best. The purpose is to give him a temporary focus that he knows is safe until he is ready to return to reality. It may only take a second or you might find him crouched in a corner studying the rhythm and waves that he is in control of making. Here are a few of the ones we used.
The eyeball bottle is his favorite.
In each bottle I added different elements or colors. The basis for almost all of them is simple oil and water. I color the water with food color and poor in the desired amount, I add glitter or buttons or googly eyes...what ever is on hand. Rubber bands, tiny toys or anything small. A bit of elements glue gives the water a milky color. I add baby oil to the top, put glue around the rim and screw the cap on tight.
I placed these in a basket near our door going out to the car so I will remember to grab them but they are also reachable anytime he needs them.