I’ve recently become addicted to making sensory bottles.
As a toy for babies, they’re engaging to look at, make noises or are visually stimulating with bright colours and textures. The idea behind a sensory bottle for babies is that they can contain anything that is too small for their hands to hold – or more accurately things you don’t want to be eaten.
The first one I’m going to show you is my coloured pasta and rice sensory bottle.
I made this one using only two colours – blue and pink. But although the blue food colouring turned my rice blue, it turned the pasta green. Similarly, my pink food colouring turned my pasta and rice orange. This is probably because I used standard vinegar which is brown, which darkened my colours… so if you want the actual colour rather than an experiment, opt for white vinegar. If you’re after certain colours, I’d suggest testing the colours out on a smaller quantity first to make sure you get the desired colour.
I only fill the bottle halfway with rice and pasta to make sure that it has room to move to make noise. If it’s shaken hard then the pasta helps to make a loud swoosh, whereas if it’s tipped gently from side to side then the rice makes a lighter rain-like noise. The intricate patterns of the twisted pasta are also great to look at and the mixing of colours provide a good contrast.
What you’ll need:
- 1 dry bottle – I spent ages in the shop looking for a nice bottle that has a relatively clear design and went for a drench bottle in the end
- Half a cup of twirly pasta
- Half a cup of Rice
- Food colouring of your choice
- Alcohol or Vinegar (preferably white vinagar, but all sorts will work)
- A tub (or ziplock bag) to dye the rice and pasta
- Grease proof paper to dry the rice and pasta
- Funnel (or make one out of paper)
- Superglue tube.
To make the sensory bottle:
- Add a cup of pasta or rice (or both) to a dry tub or ziplock bag and add a few drops of food colouring of your choice with a tablespoon of vinegar or rubbing alcohol
- Pop the lid back onto the tub and shake it like you mean it
- Empty the contents onto some grease proof paper and leave to dry – I left mine for a day just to make sure it was completely dry
- If you want multi-coloured rice and pasta, simply choose a different colour and repeat the steps from 1-3 with different colours
- Once dried, use a funnel to pour your pasta and rice into the bottle
- Use the superglue to seal the bottle lid – this is important as means that your baby can’t open the bottle by accident.