5 Easy Sensory Bottles

Sensory bottles, or calm down jars, are one of our favourite quiet activities. They are the perfect distraction while the boys are waiting for me to prepare an art activity or pack away a messy play session.
They are also fantastic for children are easily overwhelmed or have difficulty self-regulating feelings and emotions. Sensory bottles are perfect for drawing a child’s focus away from a situation and are also helpful in defusing a tantrum.
Finding the perfect bottle is extremely important. We have discovered that the plastic Voss water bottles are best although any clear plastic bottle will work. I always ensure the lid is secured with super glue once the bottle is complete. This prevents glitter or oil being spread across the room. Hot glue doesn’t adhere well to the plastic.
 sensory glitter bottles
Glitter Bottle
Our most popular sensory bottle! ( more instructions can be found on original blog post)
- ½ cup of glitter glue
- 300ml warm water
- Extra glitter and sparkles
The more glitter glue added the slower the glitter will move to the bottom of the bottle.
Whisk the water and glitter glue in a jug and then add extra glitter and sparkles.
Add mixture to the bottle and super glue on the lid.
sensory bottle recipe
Lava Bottle
One of my new favorites is an oil and water lava lamp bottle.
We use 50% baby oil 50% water with a few drop of food colouring.
oil sensory bottle
We add all the ingredients to the bottle, secure the lid, then the boys shake it until the colour has mixed with the water.
Waterbead Bottle
One of the simplest and most fun sensory bottles is just waterbeads, which we purchased from ebay. Soak the beads overnight in water. Fill the bottle with the soaked waterbeads and a small amount of water. Changing the bead to water ratio changes the interaction of the waterbeads. The boys particularly love a quarter of the bottle filled so they can spin the beads and create a tornado.
Floating buttons bottle.
Finding a way to make the buttons appear to float and then to gently swirl to the bottom of the bottle took a lot of trial and error. In the end we found the following recipe worked the best.
- ½ cup glucose syrup
- 1½ cups of warm water
Choose buttons in a range of shapes, sizes and colours.
Add warm water and glucose to the bottle and shake until combined.
Add the buttons and observe. If the buttons fall too quickly add more glucose to the water. Continue until the buttons suspend.
 floating buttons sensory bottle
I Spy Bottle.
- Rainbow Rice
 - Small plastic animals
    Arrange the animals on a piece of paper and take a photo to make the “I spy” card.
    Print and laminate the card ready to attach to the top of the bottle.
    The boys added a few of their selected animals, rice, animals, rice etc.
    You then have the perfect on the go sensory bottle to keep little ones engaged and searching.