Things that are colorful, have movement, and are easy to hold will instantly draw your toddler’s attention. Sensory bottles check off every item on that list! Uses of sensory bottles, also called calming bottles, range from social, behavioral, and even educational. You can easily make them with your choice of objects and fluid inside.
Sharing and being patient are two things that do not come easily to preschoolers. Try making a sensory bottle to reinforce these two concepts with your child. Let your child play with the bottle for two or three minutes. When the time is up tell him to share with someone else. Keep this up as long as you like making sure your child gets plenty of turns while also learning characteristics of sharing and patience.
If you notice your toddler becoming upset (nervous, sad, anxious, mad) or hyper, it is a good time to pull a sensory bottle out! Fortunately, the bottles are very portable, so they are great to take with you on the go. Something about shaking it up and watching the objects sink or float has a soothing effect on children. It also keeps their focus on something else for a while and can curb boredom.
Because there are so many things that can be put into a sensory bottle, it is easy to use them to reinforce new things your child is learning. If your child is working on number recognition, try making a bottle with number beads inside. You can make a game out of finding the numbers, or practice counting the beads. You could also make a bottle to learn science concepts such as how quickly objects of different weights and sizes sink or float. The possibilities are endless!
No matter the reason you use sensory bottles, remember it should be fun! Include your child in making them, and have a great time together learning and exploring the hands-on wonder of sensory bottles!
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