A few weeks ago I made Baby I some sensory bottles after finding lots of lovely examples on Pinterest. The Imagination Tree has some great examples and has given me lots of inspiration for future play activities we can do when she is a bit older!
I wanted to make bottles that would be exciting to look at but also interesting to shake or roll because of the way the objects moved or the sound they created. As everything is safely inside the bottle, I could add in small things that ordinarily Baby I would not be allowed near.
Luckily I'm a bit of a hoarder so had some plastic bottles stashed away that were fit for the job, and I then ransacked my craft supplies (being a teacher, I've got a LOT of random bits that I could use!). After giving the bottles a good scrub and getting rid of any sticky bits on the outside (hot, soapy water and a palette knife normally does the trick), I filled each bottle and then glue-gunned the lids in place to ensure they won't budge.
The bottle fillings I went for were:
*Water, glycerin, glitter and sequin stars - The glycerin makes the water gloopier and helps spread the glitter through the mixture.
*Pasta twirls - this is a noisy bottle! (Just make sure the bottle is completely dry before putting the pasta in - I found a hairdryer did the trick).
*Pom poms and marbles - I originally just filled this one with pom poms, but they needed something heavier in with them to move them around and stop them clumping together, so I added the marbles. They have the added benefit of making a pleasingly clanky noise when shaken.
*Lentils - these are in a small screw lid tub (I think it originally contained body butter) which is the perfect size for little hands to hold.
These bottles have been a hit with Baby I - she loves staring at the swirling, glittery water, shaking the pasta and lentils, and rolling the pom pom bottle when she's sitting up. Because they're not too heavy, she can lift them easily, and the bottle necks act as a useful handle.
I'm currently in the process of making some travel sized versions of these that will be easier to cart round in the change bag. I'd also like to make some larger bottles that will be good for rolling around the floor - I'm thinking a mix of glycerin, water, glitter, beads, and chopped up metallic pipe cleaners could be a good recipe!
Next on the toy list for Baby I:
*Bag of fabrics
Edited to add: If you're struggling to get the sticky glue off the bottles, get some nail varnish remover pads (normal nail varnish remover doesn't seem to work, I think it's the oiliness of the pads that's key) and give them a rub - comes off really easily! Wish I'd known that before I spent ages scrubbing bottles!