How to Make Sensory Bottles


Sensory bottles are plastic water bottles or jars filled with all kind of solids and liquids that are used as teaching tools in elementary classrooms. They are used for observation and experimentation. They are also part of the Montessori program and used in "sensory diets" with SID (Sensory Integration Dysfunction) children. Sensory bottles may be presented to blind and handicapped children to refine their senses and motor skills. These bottles are inexpensive to make and they allow a whole range of activities.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber hot water bottles
  • Tacky glue
  • Food jars
  • Mint
  • Cinnamon
  • Coffee
  • Shaving cream
  • Potpourri
  • Nail
  • Plastic bottles
  • Film canisters
  • Pennies
  • Salt
  • Nutmeg
  • Paperclips
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Colored dots
  • Magnet
  • Paper clips
  • Nails
  • Pins

Hot Water Bottles

  • Gather rubber hot water bottles. You could also use plastic water bottles, but the temperature will change too rapidly to allow more than one child to work with them.

  • Fill each bottle with liquids of different temperatures. Water is most commonly used.

  • Close the cap tightly.

Scent Bottles

  • Wash small water bottles and remove their labels.

  • Gather mint, shaving cream, soap, cinnamon, coffee, spices and potpourri. You can also use a few drops of extracts or aromatherapy oils on cotton balls.

  • Put items with different scents in different bottles. Glue the cap back on.

  • Poke the sides of the plastic bottles with a nail.

Sound Bottles

  • Collect an even number of plastic water bottles. Paint them in black so that children cannot see what is inside.

  • Fill two canisters with pennies. Fill the next two canisters with salt. Continue pairing the canisters and filling them with all kinds of solids such as nutmeg, paperclips, rice or beans.

  • Seal the canisters with glue and put a colored dot under each canister. Use the same color under two matching canisters.

Magnetic Bottle

  • Wash a plastic bottle and remove its label.

  • Fill the plastic bottle two-thirds with rice or water.

  • Place metallic objects such as paper clips, pins or nails in the bottle.

  • Glue the lid on with tacky glue.

  • Tie a strong magnet to the opening of the bottle with a cord so that the magnet will not get lost. Let the child move the magnet around the bottle to attract the metallic objects.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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