Sensory Bottles

Sensory bottles

Sensory bottles are so much fun to make and use - they are a great toddler activitiy and interesting science projects for older children.

The possibilities are endless and making sensory bottles can be very addictive as we found out at the weekend. Once we had made our first one - a glitter glue one - we found ourselves wondering what other materials we could use or mix.

We ended up making three - we recycled old plastic bottles and went through our cupboards to find material for a calming glitter bottle, an ocean wave one and a bubbly one using washing-up liquid.

The thicker and sturdier the bottles are, the better. Our son Lukas still enjoys throwing things around, so the bottles already got some dents - the least you want is for the bottles to explode! We also taped the lid on so that he wouldn't be able to open them by himself - glueing them on would be another option.

Calming Glitter Glue Bottle

Time needed:

10 minutes

What you need:

  • plastic bottle
  • glitter glue
  • glitter
  • hot water
  • liquid food colouring (optional)

1. Start by filling the bottle with hot water - this step should be done by an adult.

2. Add the glitter glue and stir it until the glue has dissolved completely.

3. Add more glitter of a different colour. You can also add some little star shapes or similar things which can then be discovered among the glitter.

4. Fill it up with warm water.

5. If you want, you can add some liquid food colouring - I think it creates a lovely effect.


I don't know why but at first our glitter formed a think layer on top of the liquid - after a few hours it sank to the bottom where it now stays until we shake the bottle.

This sensory bottle is said to have a calming effect on children - it didn't really calm my children down, but my husband and I really enjoyed watching the glitter float around in the bottle.

Ocean Wave Sensory Bottle

Time needed:

10 minutes

What you need:

  • plastic bottle
  • water
  • vegetable oil
  • liquid food colouring

This bottle is done very quickly.

1. Fill about half of the bottle with water.

2. Add some liquid food colouring and mix it until the water has your chosen colour.

3. Top it up with vegetable oil.


When you carefully tip it over from side to side it looks as though there are waves moving through the bottle.

My son really enjoyed shaking it as hard as possible as the coloured water changes colour when it mixes with the vegetable oil.

Bubbly Bottle

Time needed:

10 minutes

What you need:

  • plastic bottle
  • liquid food colouring
  • washing-up liquid

After having made the previous ones, we were addicted and wondering what else we could mix to create an interesting effect. We came up with washing-up liquid.

1. Fill your bottle about two-thirds full with water.

2. Add some liquid food colouring and mix it into the water.

3. Add a drop of washing-up liquid.

4. Shake, shake, shake....


This time round we didn't tell our son what kind of effect he was going to see - we had him take a few guesses before we told him to shake it - he loved it!

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