Sensory Bottle Recipes
The sensory bottle recipes in this blog post will help you create your own unique bottles for babies and toddlers.
Sensory bottles are fun and exciting for kids of all ages. They’re also known as discovery bottles or referred to as calming jars. They’re so mesmerizing to watch, they’ll calm down kids in no time or distract them if they’re having a meltdown.
Creating sensory bottles for babies will encourage them to crawl and move. They will also keep inquisitive toddlers busy, especially on long journeys or at restaurants. I’ve previously created sensory bags for K. But I’m finding that sensory bottles interest him much more now that he’s older. He enjoys picking them up, shaking and exploring them, and crawling after them when they roll away.
There are so many amazing sensory bottles you can make. My step by step guide will show you different sensory bottle recipes including all of the different objects and materials you can use. You will be creating a unique and interesting sensory bottle for your little one in no time!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
What You Will Need
To make a sensory bottle, you will need a clear plastic bottle. Voss water bottles (the plastic version) are a popular choice. They work well for sensory bottles because they’re thick and sturdy. However, they can be expensive. These sensory bottles are a bit cheaper and are a good size for little hands.
Once you have your bottle, you will need to add a filler. See the list below. After this, you can also add objects to add further interest.
- If adding in objects, fill the bottle halfway with liquid, then add them in. After this, fill the bottle all the way to the top and put the lid on
- Using a funnel to add in fillers and smaller objects of interest such as confetti will help to reduce mess
- Ensure you screw the lid on tight. Use tape or glue to ensure it doesn’t leak. Using a strong tape like duck tape, will allow you to reuse the bottle
Fillers For Sensory Bottles
The most popular sensory bottles are made with mostly water. These are quick and simple to make and the water can be dyed any colour using food colouring. All you need to do is fill your bottle with water and add in goodies or small objects of interest.
Water and Corn Syrup
Adding corn syrup to water will make objects settle slower. Unfortunately, we don’t have corn syrup in the UK but Golden Syrup is a good substitute for this but it makes the water orange colour.
- Fill 1/3 of the bottle with corn syrup
- Then warm water to the mixture – warm water helps to combine the water and corn syrup
- Glue the lid on and shake the bottle
- Add in glitter and/or sequins or one of the goodies listed below
- Glue on the lid and shake
Water and Glue
Water and clear glue can also be combined to make a sensory bottle. The glue makes the object inside the bottle fall slower than using just water. The more glue you use, the longer it takes for the objects to reach the bottom. You usually need to use one bottle of glue per sensory bottle. You can also use glitter glue too. Lukewarm water helps the glue and water mix together.
- Fill the bottle with lukewarm water
- Add in clear glue1
- Add in the glitter
- Glue the lid on a shake
Water and Oil
Combining water and oil will help you to create a wave sensory bottle. Any type of oil will work well alongside the water for this. But baby oil is clear, so you won’t see the separation between the water and oil. The oil sits on top of the water until it’s shaken. Once you shake the bottle, you will see lots of little bubbles.
- Fill the bottle with 3/4 of water
- Add in 2 tablespoons of oil
- Add in a few drops of food colouring
- Glue the lid on and shake
Water and Sand
You can also fill a sensory bottle with sand and water to create a beach scene.
- Fill 1/3 of the bottle with sand
- Add water
- Mix in a few drops of blue food colouring
- Add mini shells and other beach-themed goodies
Filling a sensory bottle with hair gel will suspend objects in it. This is great if you’re wanting your little one to really look and discover all of the hidden objects in the bottle.
To create this:
- Add 1/2 cup of hair gel to the bottle
- Fill the rest of the bottle with hot water
- Put the lid on a shake vigorously to combine the two
- Add in goodies or objects of interest from the list below
- Glue on the lid and shake to mix
Using rice in a discovery bottle is another great way to get kids looking for things in them. Finding objects in a rice sensory bottle requires a bit more effort on the child’s part because they will have to move and shake the bottle around to hunt for the objects. The rice also makes noise when the bottle is shaken, meaning kids will use another one of their senses when playing with it. It can also be used as an instrument or for a game of I-spy too.
- Fill half of the bottle with rice
- Add in goodies and objects of interest
- Fill the rest of the bottle with rice
- Glue on the lid and shake the bottle
Goodies to Add
Goodies are great to add into sensory bottles because they add further interest. They’re often small and added to the sensory bottle at the end. Here are some examples of things that work well.
Arts and craft supplies work well in sensory bottles. They fit in the bottle easily but they aren’t too small that they’re hard to see. You can also use:
- Cotton wool balls
- Decorative stones
- Foam shapes
- Mini figurines such as animals
- Plastic counters
- Pom poms
- Water beads
My sensory bottle recipes are quick and easy to make. Simply fill your bottle with liquid, add in objects of interest, glue the lid on and shake.
Mixing Elmer’s glue, hair gel or corn syrup with water will make any objects you put into the bottle float to the bottom slower than using just water.
I hope I’ve inspired you to create a sensory bottle of your own. Please tag me on Instagram if you make one. I’d love to see it!
Are you planning on making a sensory bottle for your little one? Let me know in the comments below.