How to make a Sensory Bottle
Cathy James, author of the wonderful NurtureStore (a blog packed full of play ideas, kids’ crafts and fun activities) and a member of our Parent Panel, shows us how easy it is to make a variety of simple sensory bottles, perfect for encouraging babies to develop their senses.
Babies and toddlers are such sensory creatures, learning about the world through what they see, hear and touch. It’s beneficial to their development, and fun for them too, to offer lots interesting toys for them to explore. These toys don’t have to be expensive and in fact it’s easy to make some sensory toys yourself. How about making a sensory bottle for your child? You can use some materials you have at home and make a variety of them to give your baby lots of different play experiences
How to make a sensory bottle
Your bottle needs two types fillings: a base material and then some added extras. Pick ingredients that will give your child something interesting to look for or listen to.
For the base material you could use water, perhaps with some added food colouring, rice, small pieces of pasta, oil, lentils or oats. These materials keep some of the added ingredients hidden, so your baby can roll the bottle round to hunt for more.
To make a lavalamp style sensory bottle use a mixture of half oil and half water. Add some food colouring to the water for extra effect.
To make a sound sensory bottle use ingredients that rattle and roll around. You could take a few small bottles and fill one with rice, one with pasta and one with salt and let your baby play with them and discover how they each sound different.
To make an I-spy sensory bottle you can add in an assortment of small objects so when your baby rolls the bottle around there are hidden treasures to discover. This type of sensory bottle works well when filled with rice or lentils and you can add in pom poms, beads, glitter, small toys, pebbles and shells.
You’ll need to make sure your bottle is securely fastened so there’s no chance of your baby undoing the lid and getting hold of the small items inside. You could put a layer of super glue on the inside of the bottle cap before you fasten it. This can hold it in place and as the glue is inside your baby won’t be in contact with it if they put the bottle in their mouth.
The bottles are really easy to transport, so you can pop one in your bag or the bottom of your buggy for some sensory play on the go. Of course you’ll always supervise your baby as they play, and the bottles give you lots of interesting things to look for and chat about together.
Did you ever make a sensory bottle for your baby? What did you put inside yours?