A sensory bottle is simply a device that helps children to regulate and calm themselves. Although mostly used with younger children, many older children with anxiety or other special needs benefit from using sensory bottles. Plus, they can be a ton of fun!
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There is a ton of information out there about sensory bottles and their benefits. For my youngest son, he absolutely LOVES them. His favourite is when we make the hide and seek variety. With those ones you add in lots of little trinkets so the child can study the bottle as they move it around, looking for different items.
This time I decided to try something a little different. We love glow in the dark projects around here, so why not a sensory bottle that glows in the dark?
For this particular sensory bottle we went with the rice style. The benefit of this style is that it also provides auditory input. Many children find the sound of the rice moving in the bottle very soothing.
Just imagine moving the sensory bottle back and forth, up and down slowly, while resting in the dark, as the glowing rice slides up and down making a sound similar to a gentle rainfall.
Doesn’t that sound relaxing? It is! That is why Sensory Bottles are a fantastic addition to your calm down toolkit, classroom, or your child’s bedroom.
Glow In The Dark Sensory Bottle Supplies
1.5 cups uncooked White Rice (adjust to ensure you have enough for the size of your bottle)
1 Tablespoon Hand Sanitizer (Rubbing alcohol or vinegar will work too)
Resealable Plastic Bag
Trinkets or Items to include (we used rainbows we cut out of some rainbow felt fabric)
Glow in the dark pigment, 1 to 2 grams I used aqua blue
A clear jar with lid
Paper plate (or Paper towels will work too)
Hot Glue Gun (optional to seal the bottle)
Making Glow In The Dark Rice
Place the uncooked white rice in a resealable bag. Add the hand sanitizer and shake it up until the rice is coated. Add 1 to 2 grams of glow in the dark pigment and shake until the rice is coated and colorful. Pour onto a paper plate or paper towel and let air dry for at least one hour.
Creating Our Rainbow Sensory Bottle
Prepare your trinkets. In our case we cut out some rainbows from felt fabric, but you can really use any small items that appeal to your child. Why not even challenge them to make some of their own little trinkets out of milk plastic? You can even make glow in the dark milk plastic toys, a perfect compliment to our glow in the dark sensory bottle.
Add ¼ cup of the glow in the dark rice to the bottle.
Begin placing your trinkets and in the bottle, then more rice, then more trinkets, slowly mixing them together. Fill at least 3/4 full.
Secure the lid with a hot glue gun to keep the bottle from being opened and the contents spilled if this is a concern with your child. My child is old enough to know not to open the bottle and he likes to add and change the trinkets, so we don’t seal ours anymore.
Ready to Start Your Sensory Bottle Glowing?
The rice pigment will need to charge in the sunlight for about an hour before it will glow in the dark. For an extra bright glow, or extend time glowing, I suggest using a black light. We always use black lights for glow in the dark projects because it really does make a big difference in the glow factor and brightness.