Sensory Bins and Bottles
One of my 3 year olds all time favorite activity is playing with a sensory bottle. Sensory play is important for a child as it builds social, language and motor skills. It encourages creative thinking and promotes cognitive development. It's good for us Mommies too as the child usually becomes so engrossed in sensory play that we get a chance to fold some laundry or put the dishes away!
When Tiffany plays with her sensory bottle I set her up at the kitchen sink and she is good for at least 30 minutes, whoot, whoot!! During this time I will find something to do in the kitchen so that I am near her for guidance and supervision. Here's what I use for Tiffany's sensory bottle:
1. Clean juice bottle (we use an Ocean Spray bottle)
2. Water beads (which are amazing for sensory play)
4. Miscellaneous other beads and/or assorted decorative stones
5. Spoon and/or measuring spoon(s)
Next, I fill the juice bottle almost to the top with water. Not all the way or else once the beads start going in the water could pour out the top. Tiffany will add water beads and the other beads/stones to the water. She even shakes in some glitter. I give her a measuring spoon and regular spoon in case she wants to try using them to add the beads/stones instead of her fingers, this helps with fine motor skills! Tiffany enjoys watching how some of the beads drop straight down to the bottom of the bottle while others float on top. If they float she will poke them down with her finger or use the spoon to push them to the bottom. Once your child is done playing you can put the cap on and shake the bottle to look at everything inside swirling around. With the glitter it adds some more prettiness!
I pour the water into a strainer so it catches all the beads and stones. I thoroughly allow the beads to dry before putting them away. I usually line them up on a cookie sheet with a paper towel underneath and put it near the heat vent (if it's winter time and the heat is on.) I also clean the bottle and let that thoroughly dry as well.
Tiffany adding beads
Bottle after it's all filled up