DIY Sensory Jars


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Sensory Jars.  Calming Jars.  Whatever you want to call them, they are addicting to make, and kids love them!  I recently ordered a batch of clear plastic bottles on Amazon and started making some simple sensory jars for my little guy to enjoy.  The possibilities are endless for what to fill the bottles with.  Check out a few of the easiest sensory jars to make – you likely already have most of the supplies at home!
First, you will need clear plastic bottles (affiliate link).  These don’t have to be fancy, and can even be made with recycled water bottles that are washed out.  The bottles I used are 13.6oz (or 400mL).  I like that the plastic for these bottles is a bit thicker than a recyclable bottle, and they look pretty sleek.

Water Bead Sensory Jars

OK, you probably don’t have water beads sitting around your house.  This was the one other thing I had to order.  I found ocean colored water beads (affiliate link) on Amazon, and let me tell you: a little goes A. LONG. WAY.  Seriously.  1 Tbsp. of dry water beads filled a medium-sized bowl once fully hydrated.
Follow the instructions on your water beads for how to make them.  Mine took roughly 8 hours to fully hydrate.  Although the beads I bought technically said “non-toxic” use extreme caution with these beads, as they can be dangerous, especially if swallowed when dry.  
Once the beads are hydrated, fill a plastic bottle to the top, add some extra water to the bottle, and super glue the lid shut.  
Water bead calming jar


Oil & Water Sensory Jars

This is my FAVORITE!  Bonus: it is ridiculously easy to make.  All you do is add warm water to the plastic bottle – filling it roughly 1/3 – 1/2 of the way.  Then, add several drops of food coloring of your choice, & swish it around.  Finally, fill the rest of the bottle with vegetable oil.  Glue the lid shut, and prepare to be mesmerized when you give that jar a swirl!


GLITTER Sensory Jars

I don’t know about other crafters, but my craft cupboard is FULL of random jars of glitter.  I never know what to use it for, but it is just too pretty to get rid of.  Well, this sensory jar is the PERFECT use for it! 
Starting with warm water and a couple drops of food coloring in your plastic bottle, add in a hefty helping of glitter.   So precise, I know.  Next, add in some glue.  I used white Elmer’s glue (because I had a literal gallon of it on my counter), but I think it would turn out better with the clear glue instead.  Adding more glue makes the glitter move around slower, so if you like the glitter to flutter more quickly, stick with a higher volume of water!  Glue the lid shut, and enjoy!
UPDATE:  I don’t care how much white glue I have in my craft cupboard… I made new Glitter Sensory Bottles with CLEAR glue, and they are soooo much cooler.  It’s definitely worth a trip to the store to use Clear glue rather than the regular white glue.
**Even with the lids on your sensory jars glued shut, only allow kids to use these bottles under adult supervision.**
Have you made any Sensory Jars?  What is your favorite?
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Christie is originally from Appleton, WI.  She & her husband met in college, and they settled in Manitowoc shortly after graduation for his career.  In order to follow her dreams, Christie went back to school,  which resulted in a long distance marriage for 4 years.  She was thrilled to move to the Green Bay area in 2018 to split their commutes to work, & be closer to family.  In spring of 2019, Christie embarked on what she thought was her "last vacation before baby" however, her little boy had other plans & arrived early - while she was in Florida!  Thankfully he is healthy, happy, and growing like crazy (& that hubby made it to FL in time for the big event!).  Christie also shares her home with 2 cats and 2 dogs.  In her free time, she enjoys traveling, crafting, & blogging at &