This week, my toddler and I made our first sensory bottle together. And let me say, I’m kind of hooked on them now (he loves them too—haha!). I thought I’d share with you how we made our Autumn leaf sensory bottle.
Sensory bottles are such a great way for babies and toddlers to learn with their senses. Sensory activities are typically full of elements that can be seen, tasted, felt, and heard.
Basically, anything that stimulates the senses and gets your toddler learning about the world around them.
While I loved the idea and look of sensory bottles, it took us a while to commit to making one. It just felt like it was going to be a lot of work, and I wasn’t sure it would be worth the effort. First, it was incredibly easy! And second, it was well worth the time.
In this post, I’m going to break down exactly how we made our Autumn leaf sensory bottle.
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Easy Autumn Leaf Sensory Bottle Recipe
Probably my biggest hesitation with getting started with sensory bottles was that I didn’t think it would be easy. I’m typically not a super crafty person, and sensory bottles always looked so elaborate.
Now that we’ve done our first bottle, I’m happy to report that it actually was incredibly easy! We started off pretty simple with a three ingredient bottle, but it came out so good!
Elijah was so pleased with it, and he had a ton of fun making it.
Before you get started, you’ll need a few supplies. I bought everything we needed off Amazon. You’ll need:
- Empty sensory bottle
- Leaf confetti
- Foam leaf stickers
- Water (we used tap water)
- Super Glue (if you plan to seal the bottle for long time use)
The first thing you’re going to need is an empty sensory bottle. You can get a specific bottle designed for sensory activities, or clean out an empty bottle that you have around the house.
Personally, I got this sensory bottle. I will note that it came as a twelve pack, which was fine with me. I wanted to have more bottles to use to future projects. But if you’re only planning to do a couple bottes, or just this one, you may want to buy a smaller pack of bottles.
I also opted for plastic over glass. Voss is an extremely popular brand of bottle to use for sensory bottles. It’s ideal for sensory activities because it has a wider opening, which allows you to put in larger objects.
However, I just wasn’t comfortable handing my toddler a glass bottle (edit: I found Voss also has plastic bottles, but they are fairly expensive). Instead, we went with these plastic ones instead. They have a smaller opening, but they were perfect for this particular bottle.
You’ll also need leaf confetti. You have a fair amount of flexibility with this one. I personally chose this smaller confetti, primarily for the color. It did end up being a bit smaller than I was thinking, but it ended up looking great!
Just be sure that whatever confetti you choose isn’t paper, or else it will fall apart in the water. You’re best bet is going to be foil or plastic leaves.
Foam Leaf Stickers
Optionally, you can add foam leaf stickers to the outside of your bottle. The autumn leaf sensory bottle looked fine without them, but adding in the stickers really took it up a notch.
I also love that foam stickers give the bottle some texture. As your toddler watches the leaves inside, he can also feel the foam as he shakes and turns the bottle.
I almost had Elijah put glitter leaf stickers on it, but changed my mind at the last minute. I think the glitter would have been too much and distracted from the leaf confetti. And we would have lost the texture of the foam.
For this sensory bottle, we simple used tap water. The water allows the confetti to move freely inside the bottle. You also get some pretty cool movement when you shake and turn the bottle. It made for a good opportunity to talk about the leaves falling off the trees in the fall.
Of course, you can also use a different medium for your bottle. Using different mediums can change how fast or slow objects move in the bottle. Some other good sensory bottle mediums include:
For the autumn leave sensory bottle, I recommend sticking with water, especially if you use the same leaf confetti that I did. The confetti I used is too light for a lot of other mediums, and wouldn’t have moved well through anything else.
But of course, feel free to try other ones out and see how it goes!
If you want to keep your sensory bottle for long term use, be sure to grab some super glue to seal the bottle. The bottles I bought held up pretty well. However, every once in a while a few drops of water would leak out and I’d have to tighten the cap again.
So if you plan to keep the bottle for a while, make sure to seal it!
How to make your Autumn leaf sensory bottle
Putting your Autumn leaf sensory bottle together is pretty simple and straightforward.
First, add the water and confetti to the sensory bottle.
I put the leaf confetti in first and then poured the water in. This seemed to help confetti mix with the water better. Don’t worry if it all floats at the top. A few good shakes should get the confetti mixed well and settling in the water.
Leave just a little bit of air at the top of the bottle. This will ensure there’s enough air to shake it up and get the leaves moving. Put the lid on and screw it tightly.
Next, add stickers to the outside.
Once the lid is screwed on well, let your toddler decorate the outside of the bottle with the foam stickers.
This is a great time to let your toddler work on some fine motor skills! I had Elijah work on taking the backs off the sticky side of the stickers. Sometimes he needed a little help getting it started, but he did well for the most part.
Finally, seal and enjoy!
After the bottle is all decorated, you’ll want to seal it if you plan to keep it for long term use. You can easily do this with some super glue.
After it’s sealed, the sensory bottle is ready for use! Let your toddler have fun watching the leaves, and feeling the texture. You can talk about what he’s feeling with his hands and seeing with his eyes. Or, allow him to free play with it!
Have you made a fall sensory bottle before?
I put off making a sensory bottle for so long, and now I wish we had tried sooner! They’re so easy to make, and a lot of fun for toddlers (and mom too!).
Now I’m curious, have you ever made a sensory bottle before? If so, tell me what the theme was (if you had one)! I’d love to get more ideas for our next sensory bottle.
Also, if you try this bottle with a something other than water, let me know how it went!