Valentines Day Sensory Bottle

Have you tried making a sensory bottle yet?  These a super easy and creative ways to encourage learning through a calming visual sensory tool.  We’ve shared awesome ways to make them and have a great new idea to bring you today, and just in time for Valentine’s Day: this heart waterbead sensory bottle! It’s a great Valentine’s Day activity to add to your therapy toolbox.
 
I love sensory bottles to use as a calming and quieting sensory tool.  My kids love making them and the fun of discovering items in the bottle.  When you add a learning component like math or literacy it’s even better!
 
Valentine's Day Sensory Bottle with waterbeads and hearts
 
 
 

Valentine’s Day Sensory Bottle

 
Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
 
We made this discovery bottle very quickly one day.  I had a bunch of pink and rose colored Waterbeads
ready to go.  I poured them into a big bin and had my kids help me fill the bottle.  
 
Depending on the age of your child, you may want to prepare the sensory bottle yourself and just present the finished tool to your child.  My kids had a blast playing in the water beads and placing them into the bottle, though.  It was a sensory experience in itself!
 
We used a regular peanut butter plastic jar that had been cleaned out.  (Get the kids in on the cleaning job too!)
 
Valentine's Day Sensory Bottle with waterbeads and hearts
 
Use any combination of Water beads.  You can find them in the dollar store in the craft section or many large stores in the floral section.  I love grabbing a bunch of different colors at once, though and get them online here.  It’s hard to find a lot of different colors in the stores, so online is easier for me.  
 
 
Fine Motor Water Beads Activity
Have the kids fill the bottle with water beads for a fine motor activity.  Manipulating the Water beads and dropping them into the bottle is a nice way to encourage in-hand manipulation and tripod grasp.
 
Once the bottle is 3/4 full with water beads, add a handful of foam hearts.  Kids can slide these into the sensory bottle.  
 
You can add superglue to the lid of the plastic bottle if you are worried about little ones opening the bottle and dumping the contents.  We just used ours as is and did not glue the lid shut.  This way, we could have a nice storage container for the water beads and play with them again.
 
Valentine's Day Sensory Bottle with waterbeads and hearts
 
Now play!  Shake the jar and count the hearts.  Ask your child to find all red hearts or all pink hearts.  Use this sensory bottle as a calming tool when kids need to focus or attend.
 
 
Looking for more Valentine’s Day sensory bottles?  Stop by and see what the Discovery Bottle team have created this month:
 
Color Mixing Sensory Bottle | Preschool Inspirations
I Spy Love Sensory Bottle | Modern Preschool
Heart Glitter Jar | Fun-A-Day
 
Valentine's Day Sensory Bottle with waterbeads and hearts
 

Let us know if you make a Valentine’s Day sensory bottle!  I would love to see your version.  

 
Looking for more sensory bottles?  These are our favorites:
 
 

Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

Avocado Black Bean Lettuce Wrap with Orange Zest

My kids are hungry all the time.  So, when we made this Avocado Black Bean and Orange Zest Lettuce wrap, and they were actually full for more than an hour, I was a happy mama.  We made this easy lunch recipe using a fun ingredient: Orange zest.  It is part of our Cooking with Kids A-Z series and Z is for Zest!


It’s hard to believe that we’ve cooked our way through the alphabet while cooking with new ingredients and exposing my kids to new foods.  We’ve come up with new favorites, like our Carrot Veggie Puffs and have tasted and shared some old family recipes, like our Apple Dumpling recipe.  We’ve made bread dough, snacks, and main meals.  It has been a fun year of cooking and I’m excited for the next phase of this project.  For now, try cooking your way through the alphabet with great recipes from A-Z!

Avocado Black Bean Lettuce Wrap with Orange Zest. This recipe is so easy and filling that kids can make it and it fills them up! You dont even need dressing with the orange zest! It's healthy and low-calorie.

Avocado Black Bean Lettuce Wrap with Orange Zest



This post contains affiliate links.


This recipe is so easy to through together.  It’s one that we’ve made before, with different versions.  Today, we added orange zest, and the result was crisp and tasty.  My kids called the zest our secret ingredient!


For this recipe you’ll need a few ingredients:
Iceburg Lettuce (or any large-leaf lettuce)
Black Beans
Cherry tomatoes, quartered
Avocado, diced
Zest of 1/2 orange


Avocado Black Bean Lettuce Wrap with Orange Zest. This recipe is so easy and filling that kids can make it and it fills them up! You dont even need dressing with the orange zest! It's healthy and low-calorie.

Pull apart a few large leaves from the outside of the head of lettuce.  Place the lettuce leaf on a plate until ready to build your wraps.

Avocado Black Bean Lettuce Wrap with Orange Zest. This recipe is so easy and filling that kids can make it and it fills them up! You dont even need dressing with the orange zest! It's healthy and low-calorie.

Prepare the black beans, and place them in a dish.  Chop the tomatoes.  Kids can do this with a child safety knife.  Peel and slice the avocado.  Once sliced, avocados are a great food for young chefs.  It’s soft enough for easily slicing.  Add the tomatoes and avocados to the bowl.  Zest the rind of 1/2 orange.  My preschooler loves zesting oranges and remembered the last time we did this task (and we don’t often zest oranges!)  We used our standing box grater
to zest the orange, and this worked well for my 4 year old.  She could stabilize the grater with her non-dominant hand while zesting the orange with her dominant hand.  
Older kids could use a classic zester.

Avocado Black Bean Lettuce Wrap with Orange Zest. This recipe is so easy and filling that kids can make it and it fills them up! You dont even need dressing with the orange zest! It's healthy and low-calorie.

Now it’s time to build your lettuce wraps.  Load up the lettuce leaves with as much or any combination of the avocado, black beans, and tomatoes.  Sprinkle the orange zest on top.  We found that with the citrus-y touch of the zest, we didn’t need any dressing at all in our wraps.  What a filling and low calorie dish this is!

Avocado Black Bean Lettuce Wrap with Orange Zest. This recipe is so easy and filling that kids can make it and it fills them up! You dont even need dressing with the orange zest! It's healthy and low-calorie.
Avocado Black Bean Lettuce Wrap with Orange Zest. This recipe is so easy and filling that kids can make it and it fills them up! You dont even need dressing with the orange zest! It's healthy and low-calorie.

Stop by and see what the other bloggers on the Cooking With Kids A-Z team have cooked up with Zest:

Orange Cookies from Still Playing School
Fat Rascals Recipe from Mum in the Mad House



Try a few of our other cooking with kids recipes:

 Overnight Egg Strata Recipe   Strawberry Whole Wheat Pancakes  Fruit Pizza Recipe  Honey Peanut Butter Crispy Treats
E is for EggsOvernight Egg Strata Recipe | F is for FlourStrawberry Whole Wheat Pancakes
G is for GrapesFruit Pizza Recipe | H is for HoneyPeanut Butter Honey Squares
Avocado Black Bean Lettuce Wrap with Orange Zest. This recipe is so easy and filling that kids can make it and it fills them up! You dont even need dressing with the orange zest! It's healthy and low-calorie.
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Want to cook healthy foods for your family?  Grab Yum! Deliciously Healthy Meals for Kids, a cookbook for busy families that want healthy meal ideas. 

Healthy recipes for kids