DIY Sensory Bottles – Cheap, Quick, & Easy!

Just a quick “toy” to make with so many options and benefits.  Who says that great toys have to cost lots of money!?

Below are the sensory bottles I made for Tayler awhile ago.  Since she could grasp toys, she’s loved things that make noise.  I found small 6 ounce water bottles at Meijer, took off the labels, and filled them with various items that make different noises when shaken. Once filled, you can super glue them shut (I haven’t yet though – Tayler still likes to chew on them and I hate the thought of any glue getting into her mouth!). They are the perfect size for infants to practice their grip strength and coordination, and a side bonus is they are great to take when traveling and you need 6 ounces of water to make a bottle! Some of Tayler’s favorites are filled with: corn kernels, coins, different beads, jingle bells, and coffee grinds.  She will shake, shake, shake for days!

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As our kiddos get bigger, however, there are several other ways to fill your sensory bottles.

Some other object ideas to fill with: 

  • buttons
  • feathers
  • paper clips
  • foam cutouts
  • rice
  • pebbles
  • confetti
  • dice
  • seashells
  • pipe cleaners
  • pom poms

Just about anything that’s small enough to go in, make some noise, and peaks the interest of your child!

Some other themed ways to fill your bottles: 

  • By color: fill several bottles with different items so they can practice identifying their colors.
  • By shapes: For example – dice for squares, buttons for circles, foam triangles, etc.
  • By season: For example – jingle bells, snowflakes, red and green pom poms for winter. Acorns, mini pine cones, sticks, and a few fake petals in autumn colors for fall.  Etc.
  • Add water.  It takes away the auditory element of not having water, but it sure does add a visual element!
  • Floating: add liquids and items of different densities – see what floats the best and what doesn’t!

If your child is big enough to open the bottles, make sure they are secured shut with hot glue or super glue.

If your child is developmentally ready, you could also use your bottles to open and practice counting items and sorting!

Get creative, have fun, and play, play, play!

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