Make A "Feelings Bottle"

Put "Your Feelings" In A Bottle

play therapy activity feelings bottle

Feeling Bottle (Identify Feelings)

Rationale: To show a client that feelings do not last forever by building a bottle to hold their feelings in.


Empty Plastic Bottle w/lid (rinsed and clean)

Water (Enough to fill about 3/4 of bottle.)

2 drops of dish soap 1 or 2 drops of blue food coloring

Glitter: Red (Anger), Blue (Sad), Purple (Embarrassed), Green (Envy), Yellow or Gold (Happy), Multi color (Mixed Feelings)

Water proof or plastic confetti tokens of choice.

Directions To Make The Feelings Bottle:

1. Process with the client and discuss the waves of feelings and emotions being felt within the body (grief, stress, worry). Identify the color felt. Pick the appropriate colored glitter above to express the feelings.

2. Ask the client to draw what the waves would look like if the waves were in the ocean. Proceed to make the "Feelings Bottle".

3. Explain to the client that emotional waves come and go and it is similar to the ocean. Talk about how the ocean can be stormy and have strong waves. But most of the time the ocean settles down and the waves are calm again. Have the client draw a time line of the waves in their life below.

4. Make a "Feelings Bottle" to demonstrate this. Fill the bottle up half way with water. Add dish soap, food coloring of choice, and glitter or waterproof objects (client’s choice). Glue the top on to the bottle to keep it from spilling.

5. First, show the "Feelings Bottle" in a "calming water" unshaken state. Then, shake the bottle up and show how the waves are turbulent. Then come back to the bottle after a few minutes and see how calm the water is. Explain to the client that this is how feelings are. They come and go like a storm in the ocean. Waves go up when feelings are high, but come back down to the "calm state" when feelings relax.

6.Process with the client how they can bring the "Feeling Bottle waves" down when the waves get too high.

7. The client can take the bottle home as a reminder that emotional waves come and go similar, to the water in the bottle.

*Children love the make and take "Feelings Bottle" and take it home to practice managing feelings.

Parents love seeing this bottle. It lets them know you are doing more creative things in therapy with their child.

The "Feelings Bottle Activity" also works with adolescents, teens, and adults.

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