Density Sensory Bottles

I was picking my little creators up from daycare one day and noticed they had homemade sensory bottles in their class. I had to have a little play, and had so much fun shaking them up and watching the liquids separate that I decided we should make some too. My little creators loved this idea! They are so fun, and quite easy to make, customizable for all ages. Toddlers can shake em, older kids can learn about densities – Perfect!

So What is a Sensory Bottle?

A sensory bottle, is a bottle filled with different materials, usually 1 or 2 liquids and some solid objects (beads, glitter etc.) Liquid filled sensory bottles are most common, since it’s so mesmerizing to watch the liquid move slowly up and down the bottle, but dry sensory bottles can also be made.  They make fun and mess free play toys for toddlers, and cool lava lamps or science projects for older children. They can also be used as a calming tool for children that may be over stimulated or need a bit of time to calm down.

Sensory Bottle Supplies:

  • BOTTLE– An empty one, anything from a plastic water bottle, to a plastic Voss bottle, to a dollar store shampoo bottle (which we used)
  • LIQUIDS – Water, oil, dish soap, food coloring
  • SOLIDS – Beads, glitter, sequins


Make It:

1. CHOOSE the type of bottle you’d like to make. We made 3:

  • Dish Soap & Oil
  • Water, Oil & Food Coloring
  • Water & Beads

2. POUR the liquid into the bottle.

  • Dish Soap & Oil – Fill it half way with dish soap then the other half with oil.
  • Water, Oil & Food Coloring – Fill half way with water, then fill the rest up with oil and added a few drops of food coloring.
  • Water & Beads – Add a few beads to your bottle, we used all different colors, then fill with water.

3. ADD in the solid materials, (if you’re going to add any) for our 3rd bottle we added some beads, glitter is also a fun one to add.

4. GLUE the lid on, if you see fit.


DISCUSS: How oil & water have different densities, different weights, which is why some liquids sink to the bottom and some rise to the top

PARENT TIP: Try and keep the learning ball rolling by pointing out any situations in real life that show different densities ie- ice in your water glass at the dinner table or vegetables sinking or floating in your soup, vinegarette salad dressing is always a good example, or take it away from the table talk and point out objects that sink or float in the bath.

Tips for Using the Bottles:

  • If you have younger children show them how to use the bottles – roll it on its side – turn it upside down.  Help them learn how to treat the bottle appropriately, and not bang it around.


  • If there’s a holiday during the month you’re making your sensory bottle, have some fun and make a themed bottle – add heart beads and red food coloring for Valentines Day, or star confetti, blue dish soap and red glitter for the 4th of July, for Halloween why not try some plastic spiders, orange glitter and water, and snow flake confetti and glitter for winter. Get creative!


  • If your kids are older you might want to guess what will happen to the different materials before you pour them into the bottle. Have them record their observations and come up with a conclusion.


  • For a more hands on approach no matter what age give them a chance to determine what order to pour them in, and if they’re old enough have them pour the liquids and/solids into the bottle and create their own sensory bottle concoction!


Do Tell: Leave a comment below

  • What did you add to your sensory bottle?
  • Did you find any good real life examples of density?