Sensory Bottles and Their Use In a Therapeutic Preschool Program

For our kiddos with sensory issues, nothing is better to bridge the gap than a sensory bottle. These bottles are known by many names. You may have heard them be called discovery bottles, sensory jars, or even calming jars. These jars have the sole purpose of engaging and calming the kiddos down. These bottles help children use their different senses to understand their world, while keeping them safe. These sensory bottles are containers that are filled with various materials. This is where you can let your imagination run wild! If your child’s classroom previously did a lesson on ocean animals, you can make your very own ocean animal sensory bottle. All you need is a water bottle (VOSS preferably), water, blue dye, and some ocean animals! Below are some great ideas for sensory bottles. They are easy to make and totally affordable!

1) For the character lovers
If your child is into action figures or super heroes, this is the perfect opportunity for them to explore their creative side. Themed bottles are so easy to make and can be kept for a long time! Here is an example of a minion sensory bottle.
Everything you need is shown in the picture! All you need are yellow rubber bands, blue and black tape, water, gel, and a googly eye.

2) Out of this world
For your child whose creativity is out of this world, try exploring with space bottles! You can mix red and blue dye in the water for the dark color and add some glitter to your galactic bottle. Feel free to throw in some stars and watch them twirl around!
This bottle is very easy to make and can be made from  materials found throughout the home. Use these bottles as a great introduction to all that space has to offer!

3) Magnet fun
This sensory bottle is perfect for our kiddos who are learning about science and also working on motor integration. For this bottle, all you need is some colorful paper clips and and a magnet wand that can be found online. Let your child grab the wand and move it up and down on the bottle while attracting the magnets. The bottle has two roles. It can be calming to look at and also fun to play with.

4) Water not required
There are many sensory bottles that do not need water. For example, try using cut up colorful straws or a cup of beads. Not only are they fun to look at, they can also be a great way to learn colors! Adding the beads also adds an auditory component that most kiddos enjoy.
You can try using different color straws, or if your child loves a certain color, try making a whole bottle with that color!

If you have further questions about sensory bottles or therapeutic preschools, click the purple button below or call 773-620-7800 to contact CST Academy, Chicago’s #1 therapeutic preschool.

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"After almost 2 years our son’s time at CST Academy has come to an end. The preschool program has done wonders for him. Ms Jaclyn is such a warm, kind and patient teacher. She and my son’s OT (Ms. Nikki) and ST (Ms. Erika) worked together to ensure he was meeting all of his goals. The level of collaboration between all therapies shows how dedicated they are to helping your child reach their full potential. They have all made such an impact on him, it’s amazing to see the changes since he started there. He has blossomed into a strong, confident boy who is more than prepared to start his new school in a few weeks. We will always fondly remember our time at CST Academy. Can’t recommend them enough!"
"I worked with CST Academy over a period of about 10 months. They are absolutely incredible! I also referred a friend to their program and the progress his child made just blew him away! Usually, I don’t write reviews unless I feel strongly compelled one way or the other, and in this case I do! You cannot go wrong here. I would not trust my children to anyone else. Call them and see for yourself. I have seen other programs and there is just no comparison."