The Ultimate Sensory Bottles Guide for Kids & Adults

The Ability Toolbox is a disabled-owned small business. We use affiliate links, which means we may receive commissions at no added cost to you. Thanks!

 

Sensory bottles are a fun and interactive way for children and adults alike to explore, learn, and self-regulate emotions.

As an adult on the autism spectrum, I know firsthand that sensory play has educational and therapeutic benefits for both neurotypical and neurodivergent kids. That's why I created this guide to help you buy or make a sensory bottle for your child — or yourself!

In the spirit of creativity, I've chosen to feature primarily handmade items from small businesses, many of which are owned by teachers, education professionals, and/or parents — people who understand how to support kids who see the world in unique ways! 

Contents show

 

GLOW Liquid Motion Sensory Disk | Sensory Bottle, Sensory Toy, Desk Toy,...
Sensory jar, toddler sensory play, sensory bottle, calming bottle, toddler toys, handmade...
Let It Go Calm Down Bottle
Wildflower Sensory Bottle; Flowers; Kids Gift; Calming Jar; Kids Toy; Educational; Learning;...
Last update was on: March 21, 2024 2:59 PM

Sensory Bottles Overview

Before we get started, let's cover some sensory bottle basics. 

What are sensory bottles?

Sensory bottles, also known as calm down jars, are plastic bottles filled with an assortment of materials and different liquids that create visual and tactile stimulation for children and adults. They're like a snowglobe, but more elaborate and unique, as they contain items such as colored sand, glitter, water beads, small toys, alphabet beads, and more that swirl together in a mixture of oils, creating a mesmerizing world right at your fingertips.

With so many options, you can buy premade bottles or unleash your creativity to create a sensory bottle your child will love. From glitter bottles that sparkle like a starry night to DIY sensory bottles filled with intriguing objects, there’s no limit to the sensory adventures that await. So, whether you’re soothing anxiety or exploring new concepts, sensory bottles are an invaluable resource to have on hand.

What are the educational benefits of sensory bottles?

Sensory bottles serve as a fantastic educational tool that can help children develop fine motor skills, enhance cognitive development, improve focus and attention, and practice language and communication skills. From teaching colors and shapes to reinforcing connections between objects, calm down bottles offer a powerful learning experience that children will love. 

A paper published in The University of Montana Journal of Early Childhood Scholarship and Innovative Practice outlines how sensory bottles can be a key element in creating a Retreat Center, a safe space for preschool children to take a break when they are upset or experiencing sensory overload. And of course, this concept can extend well beyond childhood. As a neurodivergent adult, I have my own Retreat Center in my home where I can sit in my swing chair with soothing lighting and my noise-canceling headphones. We all need a space like that, no matter our age. 

Do sensory bottles have therapeutic benefits?

Sensory bottles are a valuable therapeutic resource for kids and adults with disabilities and mental health challenges. They can help calm anxiety, promote mindfulness, and assist with emotional regulation. 

According to Chloe Hill, MA, CCC-SLP, a pediatric speech-language pathologist in Southern California, sensory bottles can be a useful tool for aiding language development. “Kids love taking turns flipping the bottle while practicing descriptions, prepositions, requesting, turn-taking, basic concepts, and “wh-” questions. You can use them to work on articulation by having students say their target words between each flip of the bottle,” she explains.

With so many therapeutic benefits, it’s no wonder sensory bottles have become such a popular tool for mental well-being.

Sensory Disk | Desk Toy, Display, Office Decor, Home Decor, Sensory Toy,...
Color Changing Sensory Bottle; Kids Gift; Calming Jar; Multi Colored Sensory Bottle;...
Waldorf sensory bottles set, Autism sensory activities, Montessori toys for baby or...
Autumn Sensory Bottle
Last update was on: March 21, 2024 2:59 PM

How Sensory Bottles Can Help Children with Autism and ADHD

Sensory bottles are a wonderful calming tool for children and adults with Autism and ADHD. The relaxing and focusing effects of these bottles enable self-regulation, helping children better manage their emotions and sensory needs. Calm down bottles can reduce stress and anxiety while promoting focus and attention.

Discovery bottles can help children with Autism and ADHD develop sensory processing skills, visual tracking, and improve their overall sensory integration. With their versatile nature and customizable themes, sensory bottles can be made or chosen to match a neurodivergent person's special interests.

According to a research study conducted by the National Association of Special Education Teachers, autistic students benefit from the use of sensory bottles and sensory bags as part of an in-class sensory activity schedule that utilizes best practices for teaching children on the spectrum, including curriculum, structure, routine, and visual schedules.

Sensory Bottle Safety Considerations

Safety is paramount when using or making sensory bottles.

  • Adult supervision is required during all sensory play. Never leave children alone with sensory bottles, especially glass ones.

  • Glue the bottle lid shut to prevent spills and choking hazards. Using strong glue, such as hot glue from a hot glue gun or super glue, will help keep the bottle sealed and mess-free.

  • If you're making DIY sensory bottles or buying them pre-made, consider plastic bottles to eliminate the risk of injuries from broken glass.

  • Regularly inspect bottles for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or loose parts, and replace or repair any damaged bottles to ensure safety.

  • Use with caution with children and adults who have pica, a disorder that causes people to compulsively eat non-food items, as they may try to open the bottle and drink the contents.

Sensory Disk | Sensory Bottle, Autism Toy, Sensory toys, Fidget, Stim, Sensory...
I SPY jar -16oz- Plastic Jars -Ready to Ship! Space and Sea!...
Small Magic Potion Necklace
Flat Plastic Sensory Bottle
Last update was on: March 21, 2024 2:59 PM

Premade Sensory Bottles

If you’re short on time or prefer a ready-made option, don’t worry! There are plenty of premade sensory bottles available to suit various themes, educational purposes, and interests. From glitter sensory bottles to calm down jars, there’s a premade sensory bottle out there for everyone.

Here are some of the best premade sensory bottles available that I recommend.

Magnetic Sensory Bottles

A magnetic sensory bottle is a fascinating variant of sensory bottles that uses the power of magnetism. These bottles are filled with small metallic objects and magnetic materials that respond to a magnet held outside the bottle. When the magnet is moved around the bottle, the objects inside the bottle move and dance in response, creating a mesmerizing display that is both fun and educational. Magnetic sensory bottles can be used to teach children about the concepts of magnetism, cause and effect, and even basic principles of physics. They are a great tool for sparking curiosity and encouraging scientific exploration, making them a fantastic addition to any sensory play toolkit.

Occupational Therapy Fidget Tool Anxiety Relief Weighted Sensory Bottle Stress Relief Desk Toy Autism Sensory Item Calm Down Bottle

This sensory bottle appears to be a sand art bottle, however magnetic sand, seashells, tiny starfish and crushed shells are layered throughout. Use the included magnet wand to ...

Sensory bottle, Magnetic sand, Calm down bottle, Fidget toy, I Spy bottle, Fine motor, Occupational therapy, ADHD Autism tool, Desk...

This construction-themed magnetic sensory bottle is a great tool for calming and increasing focus, as well as fine motor skills! “Drive” the magnetic construction vehicle to move ...

Sensory Bottle Adults, Magnetic Sand Sensory Bottle, Mindfulness Tool, Self Care Tool, Calming Bottle, Desk Toy, Fidget Tool, Autism ADHD

This magnetic sand sensory bottle appears to be a sand art bottle, however magnetic “sand” is layered throughout. Use the included magnet wand to move the sand around within the ...

Themed Sensory Bottles

Themed sensory bottles provide an excellent method for involving children in sensory play related to their interests. Imagine creating an ocean-themed bottle filled with glittering waves and tiny sea creatures, or a space-themed bottle with swirling galaxies and miniature planets! The possibilities are endless, and each themed bottle offers a unique sensory experience tailored to the child’s interests.

Not only will these themed bottles captivate children’s attention, but they can also serve as a valuable teaching tool. By incorporating elements related to a specific theme, children can learn about animals, space, and more.

Square Ocean Sensory Bottle, Under-the-Sea Redirect Attention Calm Quiet Play, I-spy Bottle, Desk Aquarium Paperweight Fidget Toy Gift Idea

This no-work aquarium makes the perfect gift for.... well, anyone!! Gently shake or turn the "ocean floor" and watch it's inhabitants settle again and again. The smaller size ...

Personalized Gift Unicorns Sensory Bottle Anxiety Tool Occupational Therapy Autism Sensory Toy Calming Nightlight Kids Gift I Spy Bottle

This glow in the dark Unicorn Sensory Bottle makes a great personalized gift that can be customized with the letters of the person’s first name! This sensory bottle has so many ...

Space Ships Sensory Bottle

Sensory Bottles (or “Calming Bottles”) calm children through the use of balanced visual, tactile, and auditory stimuli. As each bottle is shaken, a Space Shuttle, and 2 Alien ...

Farm Sensory Bottle, Sensory Bottle, Sensory Toys, Sensory Jars, Farm Sensory, Sensory Bottle for Baby, Calm Down Bottle, Autism Sensory

Give the bottle a shake to discover the sound and tip, turn and manipulate the bottle to find what is hiding inside! Shaking the bottle creates a calming sound as the corn kernels ...

Fruit and Veggie Set | Sensory Bottles | Calm Down Bottles | Anxiety & Stress Relief | Autism Sensory Bottles

Sensory bottles are a visual and physical tool for calming and relaxing the body and mind. A child or adult can use a sensory bottle when they feel anxious, overwhelmed, ...

For more fabulous themed discovery bottles, visit Kids World US, Aspiring Tots, and Sensory Creations By J.

Seasonal and Holiday Sensory Bottles

Celebrate the changing seasons and special occasions with seasonal and holiday sensory bottles. From sparkling snowflakes and jingling bells to colorful Easter eggs and spooky Halloween creatures, seasonal and holiday discovery bottles offer a unique and exciting way for children to learn about and celebrate the world around them.

Easter Dry Sensory Bottle

Dry Sensory Bottles (or “Dry Calming Bottles”) calm children through the use of balanced auditory, visual, and tactile stimuli. Smooth sealed bottles contain colorful Easter ...

Valentine Sensory Bottle

Valentine day is coming soon, So, our store created a new addition onto our Sensory Bottles Collection. This Rose, Love,and Hearts themed Sensory Bottle primary colors are Pink ...

Seasons Summer Autumn Fall Winter and spring seasons Sensory calming bottle

Seasons sensory bottles Great for visual and auditory sensory stimulation, learning and calming! Items inside may differ slightly. Please select for the kids to be glued on ...

Fall Sensory Bottle, Sensory Bottle, Sensory Bottles for Toddlers, I Spy Bottle, Calm Down Bottle, Stress Relief Toy, Autism Sensory...

Give the bottle a shake to discover the sound and tip, turn and manipulate the bottle to find what is hiding inside! Shaking the bottle creates a calming sound as the lentils ...

Halloween Sensory Bottle, Sensory Bottles for Toddlers, I Spy Bottle, Calm Down Bottle, Stress Relief Toy, Autism Sensory Bottle,Loose Parts

Give the bottle a shake to discover the sound and tip, turn and manipulate the bottle to find what is hiding inside! Shaking the bottle creates a calming sound as the black beans ...

Peppermint- Christmas | Sensory Bottles | Calm Down Bottles | Anxiety & Stress Relief | Autism Sensory Bottles

Sensory bottles are a visual and physical tool for calming and relaxing the body and mind. A child or adult can use a sensory bottle when they feel anxious, overwhelmed, ...

FALL- pumpkin spice | Sensory Bottles | Calm Down Bottles | Anxiety & Stress Relief | Autism Sensory Bottles

Sensory bottles are a visual and physical tool for calming and relaxing the body and mind. A child or adult can use a sensory bottle when they feel anxious, overwhelmed, ...

Christmas- SANTA | Sensory Bottles | Calm Down Bottles | Anxiety & Stress Relief | Autism Sensory Bottles

Sensory bottles are a visual and physical tool for calming and relaxing the body and mind. A child or adult can use a sensory bottle when they feel anxious, overwhelmed, ...

St. Patty's Sensory Bottle, Seek & Find Bottle, Calm Down Bottle, Fidget Toy, Autism Sensory Bottle, Sensory Toy, Baby Sensory-Made...

St Patrick’s Day themed rice/bean-filled sensory bottle, the perfect non-messy sensory activity for your babies and toddlers! This one-of-a-kind sensory bottle is created by me, a ...

July 4th Sensory Bottle, Seek & Find Bottle, Calm Down Bottle, Fidget Toy, Autism Sensory Bottle, Sensory Toy, Baby Sensory-Made...

July 4th themed rice filled sensory bottle, the perfect non-messy sensory activity for your babies and toddlers! This one-of-a-kind sensory bottle is created by me, a pediatric ...

Easter Sensory Bottle, Seek & Find Bottle, Calm Down Bottle, Fidget Toy, Autism Sensory Bottle, Sensory Toy, Baby Sensory-Made by...

Easter themed bean filled sensory bottle, the perfect non-messy sensory activity for your babies and toddlers! This one-of-a-kind sensory bottle is created by me, a pediatric ...

For more beautiful seasonal calming bottles, check out these small businesses: Sensory By Sensory and Green Eggs Sensory Kits.

Educational Sensory Bottles

Take kids' learning to the next level with educational sensory bottles! These bottles are designed to teach children about colors, shapes, numbers, and more through sensory play. By incorporating elements like colored beads, alphabet letters, geometric shapes, and food coloring, educational sensory bottles can help kids reinforce various concepts and skills.

Educational sensory bottles offer a unique approach to learning that can be tailored to each child’s individual needs and interests. Whether you’re teaching a young child about colors, shapes, textures, numbers, letters, or science concepts, educational sensory bottles provide endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.

ABC Letters Bundle | abc Letters Sensory Bottle | PreK Alphabet Learning | Alphabet Letters Activity | Preschool Sensory |...

ABC and abc Letters - 2 Bottle Bundle. Preschoolers and Kindergarteners can benefit from these I Spy Bottles to enhance uppercase and lowercase identification. The laminated ...

Numbers I Spy | Sensory Bottle | Preschool Sensory Activity | PreK Learning | Toddler Counting Activity | Counting Sensory...

Ideal for kindergarten and preschoolers - easy to wipe/sanitize bottle, marker and activity card makes it great for safe small group work in classroom environments. Benefits: ...

Numbers! | Sensory Bottles | Calm Down Bottles | Anxiety & Stress Relief | Autism Sensory Bottles

Sensory bottles are a visual and physical tool for calming and relaxing the body and mind. A child or adult can use a sensory bottle when they feel anxious, overwhelmed, ...

To see more educational bottles, check out Busy Bins and Sensory By Loo.

I Spy Sensory Bottles

Put your detective skills to the test with I Spy sensory bottles! These intriguing bottles are filled with small objects that children can search for and identify, promoting focus and concentration. By encouraging children to observe and recognize the items hidden within the bottle, I Spy bottles help sharpen visual and cognitive skills.

I Spy bottles can be customized to suit various themes and interests, making them an entertaining activity for children of all ages. Some examples of items included in I Spy discovery bottles are tiny animals, colorful beads, miniature toys, and other unique trinkets, all swirling within a colorful or glitter bottle.

I Spy Colors Single Discovery Bottle - Rainbow Color Sensory Bottle with I Spy Activity Card

Colors are everywhere and learning their names help children build vocabulary to describe the world around them and helps to create the cognitive link between visual clues and ...

I Spy construction sensory bottle Sensory bin Kids gift Toddler gift Gift for boys Birthday party favor Personalized gift Fine...

There are so many ways to play with this I Spy Construction sensory bottle! It can serve as a calm down bottle or an I Spy bottle. You can use the included magnifying glass to ...

Mystery Spy Bottles: Interactive Sensory Play for Kids! 4oz, many colors | Spy Bottle | Sensory Bottle | Road Trip...

Dive into a world of secret missions and sensory exploration with our captivating Spy Bottles! Each 4oz bottle is filled with colorful rice in vibrant shades of red, pink, blue or ...

I Spy Trucks Sensory Bottle | Construction I Spy | Community Helper | Birthday Gift for Boy | Kids Travel...

Your child or student will love rolling this rice-filled bottle around in their hands while their eyes look for different vehicles and road signs hidden inside. With each turn of ...

I SPY Bottles -Ready to Ship!- Kitty Bottles! I Spy sensory bottle, School/Classroom games, Search and Find bottle, Travel bottle,...

For more items ~ check out my entire shop 🙂 https://www.sewyah.etsy.com Kitty I SPY Bottles! Choose from the drop down list! Each jar is different and unique. There are -at ...

Find lots more I Spy jars and bottles at SewYah and OT Play with Purpose.

Glitter Sensory Bottles

Among the many types of sensory bottles, glitter sensory bottles are undoubtedly one of my favorites. These mesmerizing calm down bottles use glitter, food coloring, and various liquids to create a stunning visual experience. As the glitter swirls and dances through the liquid, feelings of tranquility wash over the observer. Here are some premade glitter sensory bottles I love.

Candy Bear Glitter Jar, Little Bear Sensory Bottles-Calm Down Jar-Glitter bottle- School Counselor, Adult Anxiety Fidget, Pink. Free Ship

These sweet candy calming bears are glittery and the perfect sensory jar for kids and adults. Each 500 mL plastic jar comes with pink glitter, resin candy pieces in the bottle and ...

Happy Glitter Jar, Little Bear Sensory Bottles-Calm Down Jar- Sensory Bottle-Glitter bottle- School Counselor Office, Glitter Jar, Smiley

These happy, smiley and sparkly jars come in three different variations, perfect for finding the right one to fit your special someones needs. Choose from three different ...

Rubber Duckie Glitter, Calm Down Jar, Sensory Bottle, Glitter bottle, School Counselor, Adult ADHD, Fidget, Calm Down Bottle Free Shippin

Rubber Duckie Find jars come in three different variations, perfect for finding the right one to fit your special someones needs. They are blue and sparkly, perfect for car rides, ...

Glitter Sensory / Calm Down Bottles

Sensory Glitter Bottles are mesmerizing no matter what your age is. They are also known as "calm down bottles" and can be used to help reduce anxiety or calm a child who is having ...

Glitter Storm Sensory Bottle | Calm Down Bottle

Calm Down Bottles are perfect for both adults and kids with anxiety. They can help relax the mind and leave the user feeling more centered and calm. The Glitter Storm sensory ...

For more gorgeous handmade glitter bottles, check out By Lottie Love and Glittered Anxiety.

Sensory Bottles for Teens and Adults

Sensory bottles are not exclusively for children! Their calming and therapeutic effects can also benefit teens and adults. With more sophisticated designs and themes, sensory bottles for teens and adults can provide a soothing experience that promotes relaxation and mindfulness.

Whether it’s a glitter sensory bottle that mimics a tranquil, starry night or a nature-inspired bottle filled with calming elements like smooth stones and dried flowers, sensory bottles for teens and adults offer a valuable tool for stress relief and mental well-being.

Occupational Therapy Fidget Toy Ocean Sensory Bottle Desk Toy Autism Sensory Toy Anxiety Tool Calm Down Bottle Self Care Tool...

Designed by an occupational therapist, this customizable sensory bottle makes a great desk toy, fidget toy or calm down bottle. The speed of the flow of the items inside the ...

Custom Sensory Bottle, Mermaid, Personalized, Desk Toy, Fidget Tool, Calm Down Bottle, Glitter Bottle, Autism, Anxiety Tool, Self Care

This customizable sensory bottle makes a great desk toy, calm down bottle or tool for anxiety. The speed of the flow of the items inside the bottle can be adjusted to slow, medium ...

As Seen on Tiktok "Tough as Hell" Smagic Bottle

As seen on Tiktok, it's the tough as hell on the go sensory bottles from Stasia (AKA @TeachingADHDLlamas). These bottles are hugely popular on lives, and are so beautiful and ...

Words of affirmation sensory bottle for calm down corners or kits, time out, time in, anxiety, stress, and more

These sensory bottles are perfect for calm down corners or kits, time out, time in, anxiety, or stress. The glitter draws the eye and gives all the advantages of a sensory bottle ...

The Ink Blot Sensory/ Calm Down Bottle

By popular demand, if you're a fan of @teachingADHDLlamas, the requested Ink Blot Bottle Series is here. This offering is for a glass flask Ink Blot Bottle made by Stasia, for ...

Black Magic Calm Down Bottle

Calm Down Bottles are perfect for both adults and kids with anxiety. They can help relax the mind and leave the user feeling more centered and calm. The Black Magic bottle is ...

Rain Stick Musical Trio Sensory Bottle; Kids Gift; Calming Jar; Kids Toy; Educational; Learning; Montessori; Gifts; Handmade; Birthday

Sensory bottles are a must have with kids! Do you have an upcoming trip? Or maybe you are looking for that perfect birthday gift for a little one? These bottles can be used to ...

For bottles that teens and adults will love, check out We ADD Sparkle 2 Life, Dance Love Sing Play, and Trinkets 4 Geeks.

Potion Bottles

Potion bottles are fun for older kids, teens, and adults who love magic and fantasy. They're perfect for cosplay, LARPing, tabletop gaming, Halloween props, and so much more. When you shake them, glitter swirls, and some even change colors. 

Hera's Grace Color Changing Potion Green/Blue Cosplay Accessory + Decor Sensory Glass Round Square Bottle Colorshift

“Unfaithful partner? A couple sprays will have them home to stay. May need reapplication.” This potion comes in a round-square glass bottle. Colors shift from seafoam to a rich, ...

Ocean Amethyst Potion Lamp (WITH USB light base)

Light up your desk or workspace with this magic potion lamp! Shake up the bottle and set it on the light base for a soothing flow that works well in any space. This listing is for ...

Nebula Potion Lamp (WITH USB light base)

Light up your desk or workspace with this magic potion lamp! Shake up the bottle and set it on the light base for a soothing flow that works well in any space. This listing is for ...

Magic Health Potion d20 Roller

It's dangerous to go unprepared! So stock up on potions before your next adventure. This health potion has a single d20 sealed inside a glass bottle. Shake it up and flip it ...

Holographic Magic Fairy Sparkle Potion Decor Halloween Cosplay Gift

Magic fairy potion for decor or cosplay, looks great in photoshoots or on a desk, shelf, etc! Please note these DO NOT change color like my other listings but the light reflecting ...

Colorshift Dice Shaker Potion RPG D20 Multicolor Decor DnD Accessory Decor

Rolling dice just a little too boring for your style? Liven up your game and step it up to the next level with a shaker potion! Multiple colors, shimmer effect, and no longer have ...

For more potion bottles, visit the small businesses Giulia's Legacy, Dmama's Bazaar, and Crystal Cloud Studios.

Mini Sensory Bottles

These travel sensory bottles can fit in your purse, diaper bag, or suitcase for portable stress relief. 

Ravens eye sensory bottle

This spooky sensory bottle is made from glass, glitter, and non toxic glycerin. Swish around for entertainment of your senses. Pretty glitter floating in spooked ravens blood. ...

Personalizable Fruity Fidget Keychain

Personalize your own fidget keychain This fidget keychain is made with oil and confetti sealed in a vinyl pouch. - Will include a grommet with a beaded keychain. - The ...

Mini Metallic Sensory Bottle

I started creating glitter sensory bottles to help calm my ADHD symptoms and decided to share my creation with all of you! I take multiple photos and videos to try to catch the ...

Mini/travel size Sensory Bottles (Calm down bottles) 4 pack with drawstring bag

I have a special needs child so I’m constantly researching and creating ways to help him be successful in life. I started making these calming bottles for him and I absolutely ...

Steampunk Clockwork Potion Bottle

Clockwork gears are suspended in a tiny bottle. This product does not contain liquid and will not leak. Bottle is 3.2cm high (including eyelet) with a 3.5cm circumference.

Sensory Disks

If a more portable alternative to big sensory water bottles is what you seek, sensory disks could be your ideal answer. These flat, handheld disks offer similar benefits to sensory bottles but in a more compact and convenient form. Sensory disks can be filled with various materials, providing a unique sensory experience that can be easily taken on the go.

Sensory disks allow children and adults to engage in sensory exploration and discovery wherever they may be. With their flat, handheld design, sensory disks make it easy to enjoy sensory play's calming and therapeutic benefits anytime, anywhere.

Mini Artificial Desktop Aquarium | Desk Toy, Sensory, Ocean, Sensory Bottle, Office Decor, Snow Globe, Fidget, Decompression, Home Decor

Mini Artificial Desktop Aquarium (including display stand) 4 inches wide 2.5 inches high Color and style of fish may vary. This item does have the potential to break if dropped ...

Sensory Disk Sets of 5, 10, or 20| Sensory Activity, Therapeutic, Calming, Therapy Tools, Theraplay, Classroom Set

Sensory Disks Sets of 20 sensory disks at a reduced price. Random selection, but you are welcome to state your preferences and I will try to accommodate you. You can expect 4 ...

See more amazing handmade sensory disks at NeuroConfections.

How to Make Sensory Bottles at Home: A Step-By-Step Guide

Making sensory bottles at home allows you to tailor the experience to your or your child's specific needs and preferences.

Create your own homemade sensory bottle by cleaning out a plastic water bottle, pouring in some soap and warm water, adding some glitter and other decor items, capping it off with a glue gun, and then shaking it up! Enjoy as the glitter and other items swirl around and slowly fall to the bottom. With a variety of bottle options, fillers, and techniques at your disposal, you’ll be able to craft the perfect sensory experience in no time.

Ready to create your very own sensory bottle masterpiece? Just follow this step-by-step guide.

Choosing the Ideal Bottle for Your Sensory Bottle

The first step in creating a sensory bottle is selecting the perfect container. The ideal bottle is a clear, round- or flat-sided container with a wide opening, such as VOSS bottles or Sparkling ICE bottles. These bottles offer a smooth surface for easy viewing and a wide opening for simple filling and sealing. Their durable construction ensures that your sensory bottle will stand the test of time.

For DIY sensory bottles, I think a blank empty plastic bottle that resembles a VOSS water bottle is the way to go. These 500 mL bottles will make your creation look just as professional as something you could buy in a store.

Of course, there are alternative options available, such as travel-sized shampoo bottles or other plastic containers. Whatever size and shape empty water bottle you choose, be sure it's made of robust, non-toxic materials, such as BPA-free plastic or glass. Avoid using bottles that may break easily or contain harmful chemicals. Ultimately, the goal is to select a bottle that will provide a safe and enjoyable sensory experience.

Here are some excellent blank water bottle options to consider:

12-Pack Bulk Empty Plastic Reusable Juice /Water Bottles to work great as Smoothie Bottles with Black Lids Great for Sensory...

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 18, 2024 12:46 AM

6-Pack Bulk Empty Plastic Juice Or Water Bottles with Caps Reusable 400ml Durable Smoothie [Bottle]s with Black Lids Great Calming...

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 18, 2024 12:46 AM

Maxdot 50 Pcs 4.4 oz Plastic Bottles with Cork Stopper Potion Bottle with Cork Spell Jars with Cork Sand Art...

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 18, 2024 12:46 AM

Lounsweer 50 Pack 2 oz Clear Plastic Sand Art Bottles with Cork Stoppers Sand Art Containers Plastic Sand Jar with...

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 18, 2024 12:46 AM

Jinei 30 Pcs 6 Oz Ball Shape Plastic Sand Art Bottles with Corks Spherical Clear Plastic Potion Bottles Round Decorative...

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 18, 2024 12:46 AM

Homemade Sensory Bottle Fillers and Options

Once you’ve chosen your ideal empty water bottle, it’s time to get creative with fillers! The possibilities are virtually endless, allowing you to customize your sensory bottle to suit various themes, interests, and purposes. Some popular fillers include:

  • Glitter
  • Beads
  • Small toys
  • Sequins
  • Buttons
  • pom-poms
  • Shells
  • Feathers
  • Confetti

Here are some excellent sensory bottle fillers to use:

Rainbow Magic Dust- Positive Potions for Kids- Non Toxic Biodegradable Ingredients

Eco-Friendly Sensory Play Kits for Children and Rainbow Magic Dust. Just add water for a fun, bubbly, and fizzing experience. Our magic dust is also perfect for an addition to ...

Fine Burnt Orange Glitter - Makeup Glitter - Nail Art Glitter - Tumbler Glitter - Fine Glitter

This glitter is beautifully made and full of sparkle! It captures light in a variety of ways and works perfectly for tumblers, snow globes, nail art and much more! ✰ Collection: ...

Twilight Chunky Glitter Collection - #1 Amethyst - Glitter - Chunky Glitter - Purple Glitter

**SHAKER BOTTLE OPTIONS COMING SOON!** This amethyst glitter is beautifully made and full of sparkle! It captures light in a variety of ways, shifting colors from light to deep ...

Sunflower Cabochons - Flatback Resin - Kawaii Cabochon - Sunflowers - Flower - DIY Hair Bow Centers

Sensory bottles are a fun and interactive way for children and adults alike to explore, learn, and self-regulate emotions. As an adult on the autism spectrum, I know firsthand ...

Assorted Animal Cabochons - Flatback Resin - Kawaii Cabochon - Slime Charms

Sensory bottles are a fun and interactive way for children and adults alike to explore, learn, and self-regulate emotions. As an adult on the autism spectrum, I know firsthand ...

FUN at the BEACH trinkets for I Spy, I Spy bags, sensory bins, educational games, teaching, crafts. Trinkets as shown.

Fun at the Beach, summer trinkets Size: Approx. 1" Quantity: 26 Materials: Resin, Acrylic, Metal

ANIMALS & SEA LIFE (40) trinkets for I Spy bags, Sorting games, party decor, party favors, miniature animals, small animals.

Animal trinkets for I Spy Bags, Educational Games, Sorting Games, Learning, animal party. These can be divided into groupings: farm animals, zoo animals, ocean animals, and ...

Horizon Group USA Assorted Glitter Packs , Pack of 48, Neon, Glitter, Metallic Colors

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 18, 2024 12:46 AM

130 Pack Slime Making Kits Supplies,Gold Leaf,Foam Balls,Glitter Shake Jars,Fishbowl Beads,Fruit Slices,Fake Sprinkles,Glitter Sequins Accessories, Sugar Papers (Slime Kits)

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 18, 2024 12:46 AM

For more fillers, check out Sugar Pop Supply, Dinky Doodads, and Speech and Smile, a small business owned by a pediatric speech-language pathologist.

The Best Oils for DIY Sensory Bottles

The choice of oil is an essential factor in creating your sensory bottle. The best oils for sensory bottles are baby oil or mineral oil, as they are clear and slow-moving. These oils provide an ideal backdrop for your fillers, allowing them to move gracefully through the liquid. Plus, their slow-moving nature creates a mesmerizing and calming visual experience.

However, if you don’t have baby oil or mineral oil available, glitter glue, any cooking oil, or hair gel can be used. Just be mindful that using a different oil may alter the movement and appearance of your sensory bottle. Regardless of the oil you choose, ensure it’s non-toxic and safe for use in a sensory bottle.

Here are some oils to try in your bottle experiments:

Johnson's Baby Oil, Mineral Oil Enriched with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, 20 fl. oz

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 18, 2024 12:46 AM

Neon Metallic Glue with Glitter Bottles for Arts and Crafts (20 ml, 12 Pack)

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 18, 2024 12:46 AM

Eco Style Professional Styling Gel Krystal, 8 Ounce

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 18, 2024 12:46 AM

Tips for Making Slow-Moving Sensory Bottles

Creating a slow-moving sensory bottle can be a bit of a challenge, but with a few helpful tips, you’ll be a pro in no time! To create a slow-moving bottle, mix warm water together with one part of clear glue, hair gel, corn syrup, dish soap, or glycerin. Add color to the water with food coloring, and jazz it up with glitter or other fun materials. You can also try filling it one-third full with water and adding baby oil or cooking oil to create a wave bottle.

As you experiment with different, liquid ingredients and filler combinations, don’t be afraid to make adjustments to achieve the desired movement and appearance. You may need to add more or less of a specific liquid ingredient to get the perfect sensory bottle experience. Practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first sensory bottle isn’t exactly as you envisioned.

Troubleshooting Common DIY Sensory Bottle Issues

As with any DIY endeavor, crafting sensory bottles may present a handful of challenges. But fear not! With a little patience and determination, you can troubleshoot common issues.

One common issue is achieving the right balance of air, liquid, and filler materials. If the movement or appearance of your sensory bottle isn’t quite as you’d like, try adjusting these elements until you find the perfect combination.

Another common issue is air bubbles. To reduce the air bubbles, try topping it off with a few drops of water, clear liquid hand soap, glitter glue, or clear glue. This allows the bubbles to rise to the top. Once all the air has been removed and you’re satisfied with the movement and appearance of your sensory bottle, seal it up and enjoy your mesmerizing creation!

Sensory Bottle Making Kits

Want to make sensory bottles as a fun project with your child? These premade kits have everything you need to make discovery bottles while providing plenty of flexibility for creativity.

Klutz Make Your Own Discovery Bottles Science/STEM Activity Kit

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 18, 2024 12:46 AM

VMNlooking Sensory Bottles Kits Supplies Magic Mixies Autism Sensory Toys for Toddlers1-3 Kids Autism Calm Down Corner Supplies with Water...

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 18, 2024 12:46 AM

LDomet Freezing Magic Potion Kits for Kids - DIY Make 24 Bottles Magical Potions, Creative Art Craft Kit for Girls,...

Free shipping
Last update was on: April 18, 2024 12:46 AM

What are your favorite premade or homemade sensory bottles?

Let us know in the comments!

Glow Stars | Liquid Motion, Resin Shaker, Fidget, Desk Toy, Night Light,...
Valentine’s Day Sensory Bottles, Valentine Sensory Bottle, Calm Down Bottles, Autism Sensory...
Blue Glitter Stars Potion Bottle
Galaxy Sensory Bottle, Sensory Bottle, Sensory Bottles for Toddlers, Calm Down Bottle,...
Last update was on: March 21, 2024 2:59 PM

Check Out More Sensory Play Resources in The Ability Toolbox

Hey I'm Olivia and I'm a proud Autistic woman. My special interests are cats, stim toys, and electronic music! I love to write and help other Autistic adults find ways to enjoy life in this LOUD world!

Dr. Wilson graduated from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, IL. Dr. Wilson specializes in providing culturally competent and trauma-informed care to patients with physical disabilities. In addition to her private practice, she works as a science communicator, teaching health literacy to middle school and high school students in her local school district. 

The Ability Toolbox
Logo
Register New Account