Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sensory Bottles

After stumbling upon this post on sensory bottles last week, I've been excited to make our own set for the kids.  The whole idea of sensory bottles is to stimulate babies' senses by using objects of different colors, weights, sounds, sizes, shapes, consistencies, etc.  I spent $2 on a case of small water bottles.  (They happen to be the perfect size for Jackson's lunchbox)  The rest of the supplies were various items I gathered from our kitchen and craft closet.  It rained all morning, which was the perfect time for Jackson to work on our "special project".

After removing the labels and leftover adhesive, we came up with different ideas of what to put inside the bottles.  Jackson was very hands-on and creative.  The only thing I wouldn't allow him to touch was the glitter.  I added gold and silver glitter to one of the water bottles. 

In the next bottle, Jackson added centimeter cubes to the water.  Beads would have worked just as well, but I have thousands of cm cubes from a professional development course.  Of course we counted them and identified their colors as he placed them in the bottle.

We poured the water out of another bottle, then curled pipe cleaners using a pencil.  This was good practice for Jackson to work on his fine motor skills.  Once the bottle was dry, we placed the curled pipe cleaners inside.

My favorite bottle to create was inspired by my childhood days of making sand art.  I let Jackson pick the colors and dye salt.  We tried mixing the gel food coloring and salt in a bowl, but discovered that it mixed much better in a plastic bag.

We used a funnel to pour in the different colored salt.

I was trying to continue the learning and make the final bottle a science experiment by adding oil to colored water.  Each time I told Jackson that the water and oil wouldn't mix, he grabbed the bottle and shook it, saying "See Mommy. I mix it."  Eh, I guess that was a bit over his head.

Once our bottles were assembled, I finished them by hot gluing the lids.  I wasn't too worried about the babies unscrewing them.  However, I knew it would only be a matter of time before Jackson had glitter and salt all over the house.

Here are our final bottles.

I introduced the bottles one at a time by shaking, rolling, and squeezing them. The glitter especially intrigued the babies.  (Maddie was sitting on my lap.)

Then I let the babies explore on their own.  It was a successful sensory experience!


  1. When they get bigger, you should make the sensory 'I spy' bags; they are even more fun. We use the bottles at school--I like the corkscrew pipe cleaner idea.

    1. I made 26 I spy bags/jars during student teaching. I still need time to recover!