I can’t even begin to tell you how many versions of these I have made over my few short years teaching preschool. These ones are the simplest and great for infants and toddlers as they go from just staring at the colors and moving pieces to begining their color recognition. I used the little water bottles that are 10 oz and at my grocery store could get 12 for 2.99. Not to shabby, I drank the water and got to re-use the bottles to make a few toys.
Then add the food coloring, I made all six colors using the four colors of food coloring and then I mixed the orange and purple by using 1 drop each of red and blue for the purple and 1 drop of red and many yellow for the orange.
Next I added the clear beads and vase filler to the bottles as well as the glitter (I of course used my Martha Stewart glitter so matched the glitter to the color of the bottle). The last step is to hot glue the lids on the bottles when you are finished filling them so they can’t be open. I like to put these on window sills so the sun shines through them and casts the colors on the floor. I know Avery is too young for them now but in a few months they will at the very least be interesting to stare at and then to shake as her motor skills develop.
Another type of sensory bottle to make is oil and water ones, for these I just used colored water then poured oil on top and added some glitter and sealed off the bottle. Here is the progression from the shaken bottle to when the oil and water separate again.
Other versions include:
Ocean in a bottle- blue water and some oil, Easter grass makes great seaweed and you can either put little fish in the bottle or fish stickers on the outside.
Music bottles- when the bottles are empty, dry them out and then put marbles, beads, buttons, rhinestones, aquarium rocks, or other items that will make interesting sounds.
I spy bottles- in these you can put various items; button, marble, rock, shell and so on until you have many things and make a list of what you put inside. Then when you give it to your child they have to look for all the items on the list. To make it harder, fill with sand instead of water so you have to move the bottle around to find the items. This one would be great to have on hand at the doctors office or other places you need to wait for a period of time.