What is a Sensory Bottle?

Sensory bottles, often called “calm down bottles,” are a great DIY for toddlers! They remind me of the lava lamps I had as a kid and there is something so soothing about watching them. We use ours with my daughter when she needs to take a little break, when she's on the potty, or when she needs help waiting for something. Sensory bottles usually include glue, water, glitter and some small toys. We used ocean animal Good Luck Minis from the Good Luck Minis Toob for ours so that it looks like all of the animals are swimming in the ocean as she turns the bottle up and down!

Ocean Sensory Bottle

 

Materials Needed: 

 

 

 

  • An empty clear bottle (we used an old juice bottle and removed the label)
  • Clear glue or glitter glue
  • Additional glitter
  • Small beads (optional)
  • Water
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Super glue (optional)

sensory bottle diy

How to Make a Sensory Bottle:

 

  1. Step 1: Squirt approximately ½ cup of glue into the bottom of your empty bottle. Clear glue or colored glitter glue will both work for your sensory bottle. Be sure to avoid any opaque glue or you will not be able to see your Good Luck Minis when the bottle is complete!
  2. Step 2: Sprinkle in additional glitter, if desired. We used large glitter that we already had at home, but any size glitter will work for these! At this stage you can also add small items like beads to the bottle. Note that the more you add, the harder it will be to find the Good Luck Minis in the bottle later!
  3. Step 3: Add Good Luck Minis to your bottle! We used the Good Luck Minis Toob and picked out all of the ocean animals we could find! You can use any minis you want in your bottle.
  4. Step 4: Fill the remainder of the bottle with water. You can add a couple of drops of food coloring to the water if desired. Try not to make your water too dark so that you can still see the animals as they float in it!
  5. Step 5: Put the lid back on your bottle. If you are concerned your kids will open the bottle, you can super glue it on. I put some strong tape around our lid to keep it closed because we are hoping to take our Good Luck Minis back out eventually.

DSC_0015a sensory bottle diy for toddlers

How do you play with a Sensory Bottle?

To play with the sensory bottle, your kids can shake it, turn it upside down, roll it and watch the animals inside as they move! We love to play “I spy” with ours. I name an animal and they turn the bottle and look for it in the water. 

This post is by Emily Limer. Emily is a preschool teacher and mom of two toddlers who love to play with Safari Ltd. animals! You can follow her on Instagram @makingwithmommy for more kids craft and play ideas.

For more information on sensory play, including a how-to on sensory bins, how to make them and how to use them, click here. We've got the 411 PLUS our favorite inspirational collection of sensory bins!

Our wildly popular Good Luck Minis® are pocket-sized tiny figures that are perfect for craft projects, event giveaways, or just keeping around for good luck! Our small animal toy fun packs will help you create your own tiny world of mini toys! Shop more here!

 

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