The Ocean Bottle

In tough moments, we can slow down and focus on our senses. This allows our bodies and minds time to relax and reset. Here; Abby shows Telly one easy way to do that!

Share this video with children. Explain that there are lots of things we can do when we have big feelings (such as nervous, scared, angry, frustrated, disappointed, or even super-excited). The ocean bottle helps Telly and Abby slow down and notice what they see and feel, and they feel calmer after looking at the waves.   

You might make your own bottle and practice the strategy when children are calm. Children can hold the bottle horizontally, move and tip the bottle back and forth to experiment with creating waves, and watch it settle. Together, notice how it changes—big feelings and tough times come and go. They settle and quiet down, like the water. Encourage them to take three deep belly breaths as they watch.   

In tough moments, an ocean bottle can help children focus on their senses, which allows their bodies and minds time to relax and reset. Using an ocean bottle involves all our senses—children might notice that the bottle feels cool and smooth, the water inside is blue and swishy, or it makes a sloshing sound. 

It’s easy to make an ocean bottle:

  1. Fill any large, used clear plastic bottle about one-third with water (a mouthwash bottle has a child-proof lid). 
  2. Fill the rest with canola or vegetable oil. 
  3. Add several drops of blue food coloring. 
  4. Hold horizontally, move slightly, and watch!