Recommended Ages – All ages
We learn about the world through using our senses, however for children with Sensory Processing Disorder, sometimes this can become difficult. Sensory bottles are an easy and cheap craft for children of all ages that incorporate sensory stimulation and can be personalized to fit your child’s preferences and needs.
- A clear plastic water bottle any size will do, though, if you are making more than one, incorporate several different shapes and sizes, to provide variety and different sensory experiences.
- Small items to go inside the bottle this is where you get to get creative. Glitter, pom-poms, small toys, confetti, and buttons are a few suggestions.
- Food coloring
- Glue and/or duct tape
- Clean the bottle thoroughly, making sure to remove any labels and stickers.
- Fill the bottle about 3/4 of the way full with water.
- Add a few drops of food coloring in desired color. The more drops you add the darker the color.
- Add your chosen items. Make sure you don’t add too many items, if you do it won’t “flow” properly.
- Add some glue to the rim of the bottle and screw the lid on tightly. Hot glue is the most effective and the quickest at drying, but any glue will do. For added security you may want to add some duct tape over the lid.
Variations And Additions
There are numerous variations and additions to the sensory bottle that you can do. Here are a few fun suggestions:
- Add a few small squirts of dish soap to your bottle for some fun bubble action every time you shake it.
- Fill your bottle 1/4 to 1/2 full of colored water, then add baby oil or mineral oil until the bottle is 3/4 full. The oil and water stay separate, which can add some “lava lamp” type fun.
- Replace the water with sand or rice and make a “hide and seek” bottle. Make a list of the objects you placed in your bottle (great with ABC or number beads), and then see if your child can find them all. Make two bottles and have a race to see who can find all the objects first.
- Pick a theme for your bottle. If your child likes the beach, replace the water with sand and add seashells, and other beach themed items to your bottle. If the sky and stars are more their style, tint the water dark blue and add glitter and small glow-in-the dark stars in the mix.
Your Child’s Involvement
It is important to allow your child to participate as much as possible when making the sensory bottle. Creating the bottle is an important part of the sensory experience. Even, if they are capable of creating the sensory bottle unassisted, be involved and interested in their project. Make a bottle as well and talk about the differences and similarities between your two creations. Remember, spending one-on-one time and making memories with your child is the most important part.
Making A Sensory Bottle
~ Shandy Marso, Contributor
Carolina Pediatric Therapy © August 2014