Pandemic boredom-busters for kids staying at home running low? If your little ones have started annoying family pets or keep re-enacting their favorite episodes of “Peppa Pig,” it might be worth giving them a creative outlet for their restless hands.
Sensory toys like fidget spinners have proven to be great sources of entertainment and soothing for many neurodivergent children, which include kids with sensory processing needs. Luckily, no online orders of non-essential packages are needed to make one of the most eye-grabbing toys out there. Resourceful parents have figured out that all it takes are empty water bottles and knick-knacks to craft “sensory bottles” that are fun for all ages.
Parenting site Romper says that babies will love the eye-catching movements that happen when they shake their bottles, while kids dealing with overwhelming emotions may appreciate focusing on the toy in order to calm down. With a pandemic on everyone’s minds all the time, they’d likely appreciate the distraction.
What goes into a sensory bottle
Many sensory bottle recipes call for water and oil to produce fun visual effects with the knick-knacks that swim in the (tightly sealed!) bottle. Food coloring is often used to create vivid visuals, with some families making spring- and Easter-themed toys.
Anything colorful or pretty to look at can go into the bottles. Pom-poms and glitter are fan favorites, but office supplies are just as good.
One creative mom used cotton balls and glue to make dreamy clouds in her kid’s bottle.
Some parents use art supplies, while others have found inspiration in nature while on their socially distant walks. Instagrammer thekeirkids’ family used flowers they had picked on a walk to decorate their container.
“I have to say saying home 24/7 sucks but it is fun to come up with ways to keep Fin, & honestly myself, occupied,” they wrote.
Others have seen sensory bottles work wonders as an informal way to simmer kids down.
“I’ve never seen him [my son] so calm, I can actually see why people use this as a time-out tool,” raved mommy YouTuber WhatsUpMoms, who shared a recipe for several variants on her channel.
Unless you’re hoping the sensory bottle becomes a sensory mess on the floor, don’t forget to glue the cap on when finished.
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