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Preschool Activities - Sensory Bottles

Rebekah Kogelschatz

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Sensory bottles are fun and provide lots of opportunities for exploring visual and auditory senses. They used different materials in small plastic water bottles that children can shake, tip, roll, and watch. Use the smooth plastic water bottles- without the ridges- that are around 1/2 liter (the mouth of the bottle has to be big enough to get the items in). Here are some for you to try:

1. The Wave Pool- Fill half the bottle with water and put a few drops of blue food coloring. Fill one quarter of the bottle with baby oil. Drop in a few small plastic ocean animals and seal the lid with packaging tape. Let them shake up the bottle and see the oil and water mix and then separate.

2. The Sand Box- Fill a bottle half way with clean play sand. Drop in a few desert animals and seal with packaging tape.

3. Buttons, Buttons, Buttons- Drop in a bunch of old buttons that are different sizes and colors. Seal the bottle with packaging tape. Let them shake it and hear the noise and see the colors all move around.

4. Gooey Stars- Using a bottle of inexpensive dish soap that is a color. Add in star foil confetti. Seal with packaging tape. Tip this one up and down and watch the stars move slowly through the soap.

5. The Fire Bottle: Using gold metallic temper paint (it only works with metallic paints), fill the bottle about half way. Then add water to another quarter of the bottle. Shake and seal with packaging tape.

There are a lot of options for these sensory activities for preschoolers. You are only limited by your creativity. These bottles work at home or in the classroom. Make sure they are properly sealed so no materials escape. You can also ask your preschooler for more ideas.

Rebekah Kogelschatz is a gifted education teacher. She has taught all grades from pre-school to 8th grade in all subject areas. She is a co-founder of the site and the founder of a preschool resource site You can learn more about Rebekah by visiting her blog,


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