Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Happy Time Out- Is That A Thing??

Time out was a pretty normal thing at my house when I was growing up.
For my older brother that is haha, jk jk.
I'm sure I was a punk in one way or another. No kid is exempt from their crazy moments, it's what makes them kids after all!
But perhaps I would have been a better kid if I had this to entertain me while I was "thinking about my actions"! 
The Original

These time out bottles are timed at about 5 minutes. When your kids are in time out, send them with a glitter bottle that has been shaken up and when the glitter settles in 5 minutes they can come out of time out.

The Pinstrosity 

Laurie lives in a small town that only has a Wal-Mart and a Lowe's. This means limited craft supplies. Boo!

However Laurie decided to get the craft supplies she could to put this together. She obviously had to make some substitutions as Wal-Mart doesn't have everything.

Here's what happened:

 "Every time I went to Wal-Mart I would search for "gel glue" and finally found what I thought they were talking about today.  Some clear glue made by Elmers. I was so so excited.  I checked out the glitter.  The website says to use "fine" glitter.  Wal-Mart didn't have anything that specifically said "fine" on it, so I went with what they have.  The site also suggested adding glitter glue, so I grabbed some of that too.
  I poured in hot water, tossed in some glue, added a bit of glitter glue for good measure, added glitter and shook!  The concoction formed a ton of suds in the top of the bottle and the glitter settled in about 20 seconds.  So I added more and more and more glue.  I had to pour out the suds on the top to fit more glue in the bottle.  I ended up using all the glue.  It settled in about a minute.  Since I was out of glue and there was no way to remove water, I started adding more glitter.  I found that slowed down the settling a bit.  I figured I couldn't used it as a timer, but it was still pretty to look at.

About an hour later I found that the bottle settles more slowly, around 3.5  minutes.  So I think this is temperature dependent.  I don't think calibrating the timer is possible with hot water in there.  I have no clue how they got it to settle in 5 minutes like the blog says.  I used all my glue and it is in no way that slow.  Maybe you have to use Aleene's Clear Tacky Gel Glue, but that probably won't be coming to my Wal-Mart any time soon.  Maybe I needed finer glitter too.  

One note on the glitter glue- it doesn't like to play with others.  It stayed in it's own clumpy balls in the bottle and they practically "thud" down to the bottom during settling. "
So what's the trick?
Well after reading through the original I think there are three things happening here:
1.Bottle Size: The bottle Laurie used is 16 oz. The original blog used a large Smart Water bottle, they are 33 oz. This difference may be nothing, but if it worked for the original I don't see why it wouldn't work for anyone else. Also I kind of like that I can see everything super clear in the Smart Water Bottle, but if you have the other on hand that is fine too!
2. Glitter Size: I DO think this would make a significant difference. Fine glitter and regular glitter are different. Craft stores (or Amazon) sell Martha Stewart Fine Glitter and speaking from a glitter-a-holic's perspective this stuff is THE best. And so many fun colors!
3. Glue: Generic Elmer's Glue is often "Wash out with water" (the picture shows "Washable" at the top of the label) 'cause kids play with it and it needs to come off clothes. Especially glitter glue. Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies. This is why you need a legit craft gel glue, like Aleene's or something very similar.
On another note, I have heard some conversation about little ones being in time out for a lesser amount of time so Laurie's version in a 16 oz. bottle that settles at about 3.5 minutes might actually work better for some kids. Just a thought, all kids/parents are different and need/want different things. Do what works for you!
Also this doesn't have to be just a time out tool, these look like a cool toy and or coffee table conversations starter. Maybe I will make an adult version in cool  glass jars in different colors lol How lame am I??? What can I say I LOVE glitter!
Another thought, the original blogger super glued her lids on when she was finished putting them together. I HIGHLY recommend doing the same!


  1. I haven't made these myself, but I'm a nerd, so here's a scientific explanation as to why the components would make sense to work for a 5 min timer instead of a shorter one. (I've tried to keep it basic, so I hope you make it through reading this!)

    1) The hot water dissolves the glue. They mention it in the original blog too, that the hot water helps dissolve that glue, but the temperature isn't a factor in the rest of the project or its use later. Dissolving the glue in hot water changes the thickness (or to us nerds, the "viscosity") of that water. Thickening the water (or increasing it's viscosity) will cause anything in it to be moving slower than in plain old tap water. The thicker the water, the slower it moves. (But the thickness that it needs to be will depend on the other two parts of the problem: the glitter size and the bottle size, see below)

    2) The glitter size does matter. Bigger glitter flakes will be heavier, fine glitter flakes are lighter. Stay with me for a second… as we all remember from physics, two objects of different sizes will fall at the same rate… but that's if they're in a vacuum and subject to gravity without any friction. Okay, those don't apply here. Instead, we have two sizes of glitter falling in thick water. The bigger flakes will drop to the bottom faster because they can plow through the thick water, and the lighter flakes will have a harder time doing that, so they take longer to fall.

    3) The size of the bottle will matter too, so 16 oz versus 33 oz will make a difference. If you're using fine glitter, which falls slower in thick water anyway, and you use a 33 oz (taller) bottle, it has a further distance to go, so it will take an even longer time getting there.

    If you've made it through my nerdy science lesson here, hopefully you'll have more luck with getting a 5 min timer. But it looks like a fun project, I may need to make one soon!

  2. I made two of these last month for my two-year-old twins. I was able to find all the supplies at Walmart and I opted to use sobe water bottles because the sides of the bottle looked like a twister and I thought they would make the glitter swirl a little more. They came out great, but I had a really hard time glueing the cap on. My kids seemed to love them; we didn't use them for time-outs, just for distraction. Unfortunately, they only lasted 2 days. One of my kiddos knocked one off the counter and the whole thing exploded...sticky glitter water EVERYWHERE! I wasn't home at the time, so my husband had to deal with the mess. The surviving bottle went in the trash with the remains of the broken bottle, we don't want to risk that mess again.

  3. I actually made several of these for Christmas presents. It definitely settles faster while it's warm, so you don't know for sure how long it will take when it's cool until it's done cooling. You have to use a LOT of the clear glue. I never managed to measure how much I was putting in, but I just keep squeezing it in, then shaking the whole thing up to see how much it slowed down, over and over until it seemed right. The glitter glue will definitely stay in a big clump, so you need to stir stir stir while the water is hot to break it all up. Or put the lid on and just shake it for a while. Mine eventually melted all away with enough stirring/shaking. It will form foam at the top if you shake it, so what you really want to do instead is just gently turn it upside down once or twice, just like a snowglobe. I used multiple sizes of glitter in mine because I figured they'd settle at different rates. I also threw in some fun-shaped sequins.

  4. I made baby jar snow globes teaching Sunday school for elementary school age kids a few years ago and used clear corn syrup and regular glitter. Both Walmart supplies. Hope that is helpful!

  5. I made these with glitter glue and mine came out fine! I have never watched to see how long they last, though, I was not going for 5 minutes, just a time away. I used peanut butter jars (be sure to superglue the lid on when done or you'll get a mess) and almost an entire bottle of glitter glue! The trick to getting rid of the clumps is hot water and a whisk. Hope that helps some!

  6. I have made two of these for school. They are actually meant as a meditation/calming tool. The idea comes from the book, 'Moody Cow Meditates'. The first one I made has lasted over a year so far and I put them in clear jars (one in a mason jar, and the other in an old spaghetti sauce jar). They are simple to make with cheap glitter glue (as opposed to mixing glitter and glue), hot water, and food coloring if you like. Hot water is necessary to dissolve the glue, but once it cools down completely, the glitter can take 3-5 minutes to fall, depending on how much glue you add.

    The original recipe calls for fine glitter, glycerin, water, and dish soap. I find this much simpler and cheaper. I know the glycerin slows down the flow of glitter. I guess the dish soap aids in that as well.


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