Relaxing Test Tube

Have you ever played with a glitter wand? They’re almost hypnotizing little things, great for distraction, focus, and relaxation. I find glitter wands to be mesmerizing, Last year I found an interesting how-to activity in a teacher book that showed how to make a version of the glitter wand. I was intrigued with the idea and decided I wanted to turn it into a medical play activity.

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Just like last week, this is a great activity that promotes normalization with medical supplies. It’s therapeutic for participants to manipulate and create something with items that are usually used for an entirely different purpose. An added benefit this week is that you get to use the finished product to help decrease stress, anxiety, increase coping and relaxation, and so forth.

For this activity, you will need some test tubes or vials, water, syringes, paper, crayons you don’t care about, and something semi sharp that can be used to create crayon shavings, like safety scissors or a plastic knife.

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First choose which colored crayons you want to use and then using the knife or scissors, scrape the sharp edge along the crayon to create shavings. I recommend doing this over a piece of paper to make it easier to clean up.

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Gather your different colored crayon shavings together in a pile

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And scoop them into the test tube

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Fill the syringe with water and squirt it into the test tube. Fill the tube almost all the way up with water, but leave a bit of space at the top.

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Put your cap on, and hot glue the lid to keep it from accidentally coming off!

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And there you have it! You can experiment with different sizes. This example was a bit on the small size, I’ve also done it with urine specimen cups and that has a different effect, so go ahead and experiment!!!

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A word of caution. If you use baby oil instead of water, the crayon shavings will melt! You can try using sterile water if you want it to last long, but it’s not necessary. You can also obviously use glitter just like a glitter wand, but I find that shaving the crayon makes the activity more involved for the participants and they have fun “creating” their special (fairy, magic, etc) dust. Also the glitter doesn’t have the same effect that crayon does if you’re using water. If you want a suggestion for use, shake the vial and then take deep breaths until all the shavings come to rest. Try it out and tell me what you think!

Relaxing Test Tube Activity Notes

Age: 4 and up

Materials Needed: Water, Crayons, Paper, Syringe, Test Tube, Scissors or Knife

Therapeutic Value:
Creating a coping tool
Medical equipment desensitization

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