Sensory bottles

Mimi is getting to an age when we can do little projects together and both enjoy them. These sensory bottles were at the top of my list. Who didn’t LOVE this kind of thing as a kid? Who doesn’t love them now? And so that my husband can enjoy the rest of this post, I’ll say it up front: Mimi is NOT getting the glitter bottle or the wave bottle until she’s much older and more sensible, hon. They’re living in a plastic bin in my craft room. If they leak, they won’t get on anything.


Sensory bottles are all over the internet; by googling you can find lots and lots of pictures. I have here every different kind that I’ve stumbled across. Do you know of more? Please tell me! These are so much fun!


This bottle is just plastic beads and water. It’s a straight-up copy of the bottle in this pin on my Kiddos Pinterest board, originally posted by Pink Pistachio. Mimi loves this bottle because not only do the beads dance, but they clack around. Since it’s just water, I don’t worry about it maybe leaking.


And here is the other bottle copied from Pink Pistachio: glitter pompoms in water. Again, no worries about this one leaking.


This is the wave bottle, inspired by many places on the internet. It contains dyed water and baby oil. I couldn’t get a photograph that shows how cool this is in action, but you get the idea: tilt it back and forth and watch the ocean foam and swell. Cool! I think some tiny plastic fish in the water would be doubly cool. The less air left in the top of this one, by the way, the better.


The glitter bottle is often called a time-out bottle or a calm-down bottle, because people give them to their preschoolers as time out timers. Watching the glitter settle has a soothing effect on wound-up little ones. This bottle contains warm but not hot, because that would melt the bottle, ask me how I know water, glitter glue, and a little extra glitter. If you are using the bottle as a timer, you may want to add additional clear craft glue to make it thicker so the glitter settles more slowly. As with the wave bottle, the less air left at the top the better.


Finally, the I Spy bottle is filled with trinkets and rice. I got the idea from this pin on my Kiddos board, originally posted by Meet The Dubiens. I got the trinkets all in one package at a craft store. The idea is that you twist and turn the bottle, finding as many objects as you can. For older children, you may want to photograph the objects before making the bottle so that your kids can check off items as they find them. For 22 month old Mimi, that sounded too hard, so I didn’t. This bottle benefits from having plenty of empty space so that the rice and trinkets can move around.

These are little water bottles I found at my grocery store. This particular brand didn’t have stuck-on labels, so I didn’t need Goo Gone to clean them up. They’re just the right size for Mimi’s little hands. The caps are all super glued shut. I tried hot glue first, but it cools and hardens before you can get the cap properly sealed–in my experience at least. Also, pro tip? Let the super glue dry thoroughly before giving the bottles to your kids. Hello my name is Katrina and my toddler has super glue on her hands.

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