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When thinking of crafty ways to use the items collected on our nature walk, try making a sensory bottle. Besides your collected items, you will need:

  • A clear plastic water or soda bottle (bottles with a wider opening are optimal)
  • Distilled water
  • Heavy duty tape, such as Duct tape or Gorilla tape

When on your walk, chose items that are visually appealing (i.e., flowers, interesting rocks, and leaves), as well as items that would add a sound component when the bottle is shaken (i.e., gravel, shells, beach glass).

First, gather your items on your workspace

a collection of leaves, flowers, rocks, sticks and an empty Powerade bottle

Next, take a clean plastic bottle, insert your items, and then add distilled water. Ensure items such as sticks, or rocks are clean so there will be less residue after you add the water. For safety purposes, secure the lid using heavy duty tape or glue. Children should also be supervised when playing with the bottles in case the lid comes off.

bottle filled with distilled water, flowers, rocks, sticks and leaves

As an extension activity, you may like to create multiple sensory bottles using household items or materials purchased from the dollar store.

several bottles filled with various items. The contents include glitter & sequins, small coloured wooden blocks, gravel and rice

The items in the bottles pictured above were gathered from around the house and during a quick outing to the dollar store. For most of these bottles, only dry materials were used—no distilled water. Children can compare the weight and sound of the different bottles. For a child who is blind, you may wish to make doubles of your bottles; with two of each, your child can compare the weight and sound of the bottles to find the ones that are the same.