Monday, January 21, 2013

Sensory Bottles

Beach Themed Sensory Bottle
I have been so excited to write about sensory bottles since I started this blog. They have been my absolute favorite toy to make for my son. I started making sensory bottles for him when he was just a year old. He is now two and a half and they never get old. The possibilities are endless!

Different Sized Voss Water Sensory Bottles
So what are sensory bottles? Sensory bottles are created by upcycling water bottles and filling them with an array of items, such as colorful beads and sequins. The purpose is for children to use their senses to explore the bottles. My son loves to shake, roll, and observe how items in the bottles move around. He has always enjoyed watching when I shake a few bottles at a time as seen in the next two pictures. My son had just turned one when I introduced sensory bottles to him on his high chair and he loved them instantly.

I purchased the Voss water bottles at TJMaxx. I was drawn to the shape of the bottle because I knew my son would be able to roll them easily on the floor. They come in a pack of six for about a dollar each. Just a word of advice... be sure to use a glue gun to seal the bottles securely to avoid any accidents.

Here are a few of our favorite sensory bottles:

Glow In The Dark Bottle
Imagine how exciting it would be to fill a dark room with a few of these bottles for your toddler! I purchased these glow in the dark bracelets from the dollar section of Michaels craft store.

Dinosaur & Glitter Bottle
It kind of looks like an interesting science experiment as you observe these dinosaurs in the bottle. I purchased the dinos at Michaels craft store for $1. Adding glitter gave it an interesting look.

Green Monster Bottle
 This bottle is so fun and silly at the same time. I used green food dye and two googly eyes to make this monster bottle.

Marble & Ribbon Bottle 
My son loves holding this bottle by each end and observing how the marble moves from side to side. This bottle seems to calm him down as he keeps an eye on the marble as it slips in and out of the ribbon.

Here are some more sensory bottle ideas:

From left to right:
1. Water, oil, kitchen soap
2. Glow In The Dark - as mentioned above
3. Sequins & Jingle Bells 
4. Ocean Mix - Mix of blue beads and sequin mix in water
5. Beach Mix - Sand, pearls, glitter, shells, beads
6. Pom Poms & Glitter

From left to right:
1. Dinosaurs & Glitter- as mentioned above
2. Mini pom poms, sequins, and glitter in water
3. Pipe cleaners cut up in water
4. Marble mix in water
5. Feathers & Glitter

From left to right:
1. Sequins & Glitter in water
2. Tissue paper squares in water
3. Marble & Ribbon - as mentioned above
4. Buttons in water 

In the above photo are mini plastic discovery bottles. These are mini, travel sized, plastic containers I purchased at CVS because they look just like the Voss water bottles. It was a very exciting find for me!

Since I have collected and created many different sized bottles, I taught my son the difference between small, medium, and large. Here he is in the above photo showing me a large bottle.

Sensory bottles are just another example of an inexpensive DIY toy that will benefit your child. It is so much fun to watch my son pick up the bottles I create for him and watch as he explores. As he gets older I will create bottles to focus on more advanced skills (For example: I-Spy word bottles, magnetic bottles, density bottles, sink/float bottles.)

Have fun creating with the endless possibilities of sensory bottles!



  1. What gorgeous bottles to use, and an awesome way to reuse them. I will be bookmarking this for the future! :)

  2. Thank you for your interest Haley! I'd love to see what sensory bottles you create in the future!

  3. Hi Deborah! I linked your site on my blog today! Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. THanks for stopping by our FB page - I LOVE LOVE LOVE the glow in the dark bottle!!!

  5. Thank you for visiting my blog Angela & Lovingmama! Sensory bottles are so much fun and inexpensive to create. The possibilities are endless! :)

  6. Where did you get your water bottles? They look so nice compared to the normal water bottles...

  7. Your sensory bottles caught my attention. What liquids do you use? Or what is the recipe to make them? Lovely!!

  8. Thank you for sharing !Love all the ideas !

  9. Love your ideas! How long does the glow in the dark effect last?

  10. We make these in nursery school too. The kids seem to break the caps easily. I'm going to try filling the empty space in the cap to see if that helps.