St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Fun

I have always been fascinated with DIY sensory play.  I think the kid in me just gets excited at the prospect of making a big old mess and it being purposeful and totally ok.  From the moment our son was born, I have been really excited to engage him with a variety of sensory activities.

Through sensory play, one or more of your child’s senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell) are stimulated, and they are provoked to explore and create. Sensory bottles can captivate and soothe infants and toddlers, and provide them with something new to observe.

Ireland was our son’s first international travel destination (if in-womb travel counts), and with St. Patrick’s Day approaching it seemed appropriate to get festive and DIY some themed sensory bottles.


The creative process! Coffee sipped from my coveted Dublin mug was a must.


Baby, you Sham-ROCK! Sensory Bottle

This bottle utilizes the standard oil and water duo that shows up fairly often in sensory bottles.  The different ways that the two substances separate and combine, and form into little beads is memorizing, and the glitter just takes it to the next level.

Empty water bottle
Baby oil
Green food colouring
Green and white glitter

1. Fill water bottle about half way with baby oil
2. Add as much glitter as your little heart desires
3. Mix 10 drops of green food colouring into 2 cups of water, and add the water to the bottle
4. Add some hot glue to the water bottle cap, and seal the bottle
5. Shake, shake, shake and watch the beauty unfold

Follow the Rainbow Sensory Bottle

I was inspired by this bottle when I saw a similar one on Pinterest, and liked that it appeals to two senses: sight and sound. The blue sky, clouds, and rainbow theme is whimsical and fun, and when shaken this bottle also serves as a rattle.

Empty water bottle
Blue food colouring
A variety of blue sprinkles
Cotton balls
Fabric paint
Aluminum foil
Large ziplock bag

1. Add your desired amount of sand to a large ziplock bag and add 8 drops of blue food colouring.  Seal the bag, removing all air and smush things around until your salt turns a consistent shade of blue. Set aside.
2. Use fabric paint to draw rainbows on some flat aluminum foil and let dry overnight. Peel the rainbows off the foil once dry. It would be much easier to use some rainbow stickers or ribbon for this step, but my local craft store oddly didn’t have either. So, fabric paint it was for this momma
3. Fill your empty bottle, layering cotton balls, dyed sand, rainbows, and blue sprinkles as you go.
4. Add some hot glue to the water bottle cap, and seal the bottle
5. Shake the bottle to make cool sounds and shift all of the elements around.

Pot ‘O’ Gold Sensory/Calm Down Bottle

Everyone knows that when you follow the rainbow you find a pot of gold, so the obvious choice for the third bottle was this glorious golden glittery number.  The corn syrup helps slow the glitter down after you shake things up, so the mesmerizing effect lasts a little bit longer.

We certainly aren’t at this stage yet, but bottles like this one are often dubbed ‘calm down bottles’, and can be used as a gentle time-out tool for toddlers.  Quiet time has to last until all of the glitter has settled.

Empty water bottle
Clear corn syrup
Gold glitter

1. Measure out 1.5 cups of corn syrup
2. Add 1 cup of HOT water to the corn syrup and stir to combine
3. Add the mixture to the empty bottle
4. Add as much glitter as your little heart desires
5. Add some hot glue to the water bottle cap and seal the bottle
6. Shake, shake, shake and watch the beauty unfold


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