They go by several names: discovery bottles, sensory jars, calm down jars, and more! They have become a popular sensory activity for toddlers and preschoolers. Essentially, sensory bottles are containers that are filled with various materials as a way to encourage non-messy sensory play. They have become prevalent because not only do they have benefits for young children, but they are also easy to make.
Sensory play is a hands-on way to introduce children to the world around them and allow their brains to make important connections. These bottles can address various skills and can be tailored to meet the needs of the children using them. While this list is long, it only covers a portion of the learning concepts that can be addressed with sensory bottles:
- Math skills: counting, matching, shape recognition, spatial reasoning
- Pre-reading skills: letters, sounds
- Vocabulary skills: descriptive language, following directions
- Fine motor skills
- Science skills: Sink/float, introduction into the scientific method – making an observation, asking a question, testing a hypothesis or prediction
Many preschoolers (and even older children) are not able to self-regulate their emotions and often require some sort of instruction for how to respond to emotional- or sensory-based stressors. It will likely be the most effective when given to the child before he completely escalates and is totally inconsolable. It will take some practice for the child to experience how it works. Shake up the bottle, hand it to him, and see what he does. When a sensory bottle has items such as glitter in it that slowly move up and down, children are often captivated by watching, and this calms their breathing and helps them regulate themselves and their emotions.
Easy to Make
Sensory bottles are incredibly quick to create and do not cost much. The bottles are portable and do not require a trip to a children’s museum. There are many excellent resources for how to create a sensory bottle.It is surprising that something so simple can create such fun sensory play at home.
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Want to learn more about Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Highland Glen located in Pearland, Texas? Our mission is to provide secure, nurturing, and educational environments for children ages 6 weeks – 12 years. We help children to bloom into responsible, considerate, and contributing members of society. For more information, give us a call or stop by for a tour! We’d love to get to know you and your family.