baby crafts

3 of our favorite sensory bottles

In our home we love sensory play!

One fun way to do this is with the use of sensory bottles.

Sensory bottles are especially great for younger toddlers who like to mouth things thus, making it hard to set up sensory bins.

Having things inside a sealed bottle is a great alternative that can be just as engaging and fun. Have your child observe and marvel at a simple combination of water, food coloring,baby oil, and glitter

Or kick it up a notch by adding a few hidden objects to an I Spy bottle.

The good news is sensory play doesn’t have to be complicated.

Have fun by upcycling those used bottles and gathering objects from around your home.

I’m so excited to share three of my favorite bottles today

Before that, let’s go back to the basics.

The best starting point I have found for a simple sensory bottle is this:

Fill 1/3 – 1/2 of the bottle with water

Add baby oil leaving about 1 inch of space at the top

Finish off with glitter, sequins, or any other small object that will be fun to observe.

Be sure to seal the lid on by adding hot glue and or tape to prevent small toddlers from opening it and putting small objects in their mouth.

A simple sensory bottle is such a great tool it is often referred to as a calm down bottle because shaking it up and letting it settle again is such a relaxing and calming experience. (Even for adults)

Simple sensory bottle

Now that we’ve gone over the basics let’s get to our three favorites!

1. Ocean in a bottle

For this bottle we will start with the basic steps of water, food coloring, and baby oil.

After leaving an inch of space we add sand and seashells. Seal and enjoy.

In the past we have added small shark figurines but we didn’t have any on hand this time. That’s ok, we used the seashells we collected on our last trip to California and our ocean in a bottle turned into a memory bottle as well.

I call this one “our day at the beach.” It turned out so beautiful!

Ocean in a bottle

Up next is our galaxy in a bottle

For this bottle we need:

Cotton balls


Food coloring

and glitter

We start by separating the cotton with our fingers and adding it to the bottle one at a time

After 1-2 cotton balls we add a bit of water and a drop of food coloring in a galaxy color. (I chose pink, purple, and blue)

We repeat these steps until we fill our bottle.

About halfway to the top, add some glitter (this will be the stars)

Seal your lid and there you have it, a beautiful galaxy at your fingertips!

Galaxy in a bottle

Last but not least is our I Spy bottle

I have created a fun little printable sheet that you can pair with this bottle.

This bottle does not require any water at all, is super simple to setup, and is probably my favorite because it can be customized in so many ways.

First start by adding a few handfuls of beans or rice to a bottle

Gather small objects from around the home.

Add the objects in, alternating between them and the beans or rice.

Once full, enjoy seeking out certain objects with your toddler.

For this bottle feel free to add multiples of the same object depending on your child’s age.

I spy bottle

At this age children learn through play so we don’t want our little ones getting frustrated. Instead, sensory play should be a fun way to learn, explore, and grow.

Thank you so much for stopping by today and I hope you enjoyed these. I sure enjoyed making them!

Here is a simple printable sheet to pair with your I spy bottle :

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