Baby Play: DIY Discovery Bottles

As part of our exploration of Baby Play

We have been creating Discovery Bottles

Or Sensory Bottles for Edie Mae

Discovery Bottles are a great way for a baby

Or a toddler

To safely explore materials that might be a choking hazard

Or otherwise unsafe for little ones

It is a way to indulge in sensory play

Without it being messy play

There are so many things you can put into Discovery Bottles

Many of which you will already have in your home





Silver Foil

Cotton Wool

You can use anything that will fit into your chosen bottle

You can also choose to display your items just by themselves

Or you can add water,

Baby oil

Hair gel

Glitter Glue


The thicker the carrier material

The more slowly things move

Making the objects easier for a baby to track

Making the sensory bottle an interesting thing for babies to investigate

It is really important

That you seal your bottles with super glue

Before allowing your baby or child to play with them always supervise your baby’s play, just to be safe

It is also vital that you supervise your baby at play with these bottles

Discovery bottles are fun for baby play

They are also fascinating for toddlers and older children

You may hear them referred to as Calm Down Bottles or jars

They are great toys but also good tools

For calming down older children

My 7 year olds and 3 year old

Have loved making discovery bottles

For their baby sister

They have also really enjoyed

Exploring the bottles and their contents themselves

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Make Your Own Discovery Bottles for Baby Sensory Play

Step 1
Get your plastic bottle

You can buy bottles online or in high street stores

Or you can use bottles and jars that you already have at home

Choose a container with a twist top

That you can permanently seal with glue

Step 2
Choose your filling

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We have made sensory bottles with the following fillings so far

That you might like to try

Hama Beads

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Pom poms

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Dry pasta

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Cut up pipe cleaners

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Oil and water


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You can use anything you like

That gives an interesting visual effect

Or creates a nice sound

Or does both

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Once you have chosen your objects

Or combination of fillers

Put them inside your bottle

And seal

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If you get your older children

To fill the bottles

It is great for refining their fine motor skills

And getting them to think about cause and effect

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Over the coming year

We are going to make one new discovery bottle a week

We are going to make bottles linked to Edie’s development

Linked to seasons and weather

Linked to festivals and celebrations

We are going to make I Spy Bottles for Bea

To help with letter and number recognition

We have so many ideas and we would love to share them with you

In a new blog feature

52 Weeks of Discovery Bottles

We have been inspired to do this project by

The Imagination Tree

Red Ted Art and

Nurture Store

We hope that they and we can inspire you too

Here is a video of us making our first Discovery Bottles for Baby Play

If you do decide to make these sensory bottles with your children

Don’t forget to let them get creative

With any left over materials once you are finished


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5 thoughts on “Baby Play: DIY Discovery Bottles

    • Esther, my eldest, is getting the most out of them here at the moment. She loves to make them for her little sisters and to play with them herself. We are going to be making some miniature bottles to leave by her fairy door x

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