I first found out about these DIY Shaking Bottles or sensory bottles from a stay-at-home Dad/friend, who made them for his son to enjoy.  He also makes them and gives them out as gifts. I love a toddler activity that’s easy, looks great and provides opportunities for learning too!

Text: Shaking bottles for fun and learning- sensory bottles with blue lids and orange, green, and blue liquid, and rainbow rice lined up on wood background- kids activities blog
Make your own shaking bottles to help your child explore textures and the world.

DIY Sensory Bottles

I’ve had my eyes peeled for a number of weeks, looking for the perfect bottles to make a set of shaking bottles of our own.  I finally found some at during a trip to a salvage grocery store. Whoo-hoo!  Hopefully these will help entertain our youngest during a long road trip coming up.

Related: More fun activities for toddlers and babies.

Supplies you need to make your own Shaking Bottle Toddler Toy

  • Some small, fun bottles
  • Gorilla Glue
  • a variety of “fillers”: water, food colouring, hair gel, dish soap, oils, silica balls, coloured rice, tissue paper etc.
  • Collection of stuff to put in your bottles: charms, beads, glitter, small plastic toys, buttons, etc.
Sensory bottle with rainbow rice and foam slugs in a plastic bottle with water- kids activities blog
Check it out, this bottle is filled with coloured rice and craft foam pieces.

How to A Super Easy and Fun Sensory Bottle

Step 1

Wash out a bottle with a cap lid.

Step 2

Add the charms, beads, etc to the inside of your bottle.

Step 3

Top off your bottle with water/liquid or whatever filler you’ve chosen. Liquid and oil is always a fun combo, but using plain oil or water always works as well. Avoid anything with sugar as it will probably start molding and smelling.

Step 4

Glue the lid back on and make sure it is tight and full dried before playing.

Sensory bottle filled with hair gel and red, yellow, and blue vase beads at the bottom of the plastic bottle- kids activities blog
This one is filled with hair gel and glass vase fillers or beads.

Craft Notes For Your DIY Sensory Bottle

I had used hot glue before and rubber cement, even super glue, for our “I Spy Rice Jars”.  

The problem with hot glue and rubber cement is that it is malable. The problem with super glue is its ability to crack. My son was able to open the jars given enough time and boredom (both in abundance during road trips) using all those other glues.

Gorilla Glue is really tough! So far we’ve used it to put back together magnets, plastic doll heads, toy cars, etc. Its great stuff. I think I’ve finally found a glue that works!

Sensory bottle filled with water and orange food coloring with orange, pink, green, yellow, and purple beads at the bottom- kids activities blog
This sensory bottle is filled with water, food colouring and craft beads.

Our Experience With These DIY Sensory Bottles

Hand your toy to your toddler to shake, bang and bite to their hearts content! Even my older preschoolers enjoy these bottles!

Sensory bottle held by a little boy in a ball cap - sensory bottle is a plastic bottle with blue lid and foamy white and blue soap mixture inside it- kids activities blog
Look how fun this sensory bottle is filled with soap and water.

We play can you find the “dime” or whatever, it is a great way to keep them active on a trip. Hopefully, these will remain in one piece.

Sensory bottles lined up on concrete with- rainbow rice- white rice and blue pink and purple tissue paper, orange liquid and beads, blue and white liquid and foam, and green liquid with vase beads, kids activities blog
There are so many sensory bottles to make!

DIY Sensory Bottle For Kids

DIY Sensory Bottle For Kids

Make your own sensory bottle using bottles, items you have around the house like rice and beads, and some kind of liquids. Toddlers, preschoolers, and even kindergarten kids will love exploring and learning with these super easy to make sensory bottles.

Materials

  • Some small, fun bottles
  • Gorilla Glue
  • a variety of “fillers”: water, food colouring, hair gel, dish soap, oils, silica balls, coloured rice, tissue paper etc.
  • Collection of stuff to put in your bottles: charms, beads, glitter, small plastic toys, buttons, etc.

Instructions

  1. Wash out a bottle with a cap lid.
  2. Add the charms, beads, etc to the inside of your bottle.
  3. Top off your bottle with water/liquid or whatever filler you’ve chosen.
  4. Glue the lid back on and make sure it is tight and full dried before playing.

More Sensory Bottles And sensory Fun From Kids Activities Blog

And don’t miss these flash card templates for toddlers! or these easy cut and paste activities for toddlers! 

Try out this learning activity for kids new to tying their shoes!

I know these are pretty popular. Have you made one? Share yours with us in the comments, we’d love to see the ones you made!



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22 Comments

  1. I love the concept, and also the bottles. I am asking pretty much the same question as Natalie where did you get the cute little bottles with the red top. It seem just the right size for a 16 month old to hold. I would like to get those bottles.

  2. This is a great idea! We used to use all kinds of empty plastic bottles for our kids and fill them with dried pasta, plastic beads and anything else that was lying around. It also served the useful additional purpose of getting anything small and dangerous away from the kids and into a bottle with a sealed lid!

  3. If I’ll use clear silicone gel to lock it up from the inside and the thread? Do you think it’ll work? And is it still safe?

  4. Super interesting. I’ve seen Gorilla Glue used all the time even for heavy duty repairs. Do you know what are those bottles called? I’ve never seen anything like them before.

  5. Wow, this is great! My daughter has sensory issues and I’m sure something like this would be a great addition to her personal toy chest as well as her classroom toy chest. Thanks for the tute!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Progress Report: 2 months =-.

  6. I absolutely LOVE this- and the gorilla glue tip is super becuase I was totally thinking my daughter would open up the bottle and shake it all out! But I have never tried gorilla glue- so that may be the saving grace for us!

    Totally gonna do this! Great tips!
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Blog in which I attempt to Garden ¦. =-.

  7. Thanks for the tip about the glue. I really want to find something that works too. The bottles look super cute, I’ll be on the lookout for good choices as well now.
    .-= Natalie´s last blog ..Science of the Dead Sea =-.

  8. I’ve made these before when my daughter was about 6 months old. I used plastic water bottles and filled them with glitter and sequins and then added water and a few drops of food coloring. What I really loved about them was the fact they rolled and she learned to crawl after them. Alot fun and so easy!
    .-= Candi @ Family Stamping and FOOD!´s last blog ..And the winner is… =-.