Sensory Shaker Bottles for Baby

It is so much fun to watch a baby play.  They learn every day and through every experience with their environment and family.  Our littlest one is nine months and really interacting with her older brother and sisters.  We made these sensory shaker bottles from recycled spice containers for baby sensory and auditory play and she’s been playing with them every day.  The older kids are loving these sensory bottles for the auditory fun.

Baby Sensory bottles using recycled spice jars

Sensory Bottles for Baby

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We started with a bunch of empty spice jars.  Save those spice jars!  These are the perfect size for baby to grasp and hold.  To fill the jars, I pulled out a bunch of materials that would provide a great sensory experience to see, hold, and hear:

field corn
is a larger seed than regular popcorn and provides a great shaking noise with a slightly heavier weight.

are a small dry material and fun to shake. We actually died our lentils orange first!

green split peas
(this can also be dyed to any color!)

elbow pasta
(we dyed ours black and added a bunch of red glitter. This is a cool combination for sensory play!)

provides heavier feedback with a weightier sensory bottle.

pony beads

Shaker sensory bottles for auditory and visual sensory play. Babies love these!

Baby sensory bottles

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Looking for more Baby Play ideas?  Try these:

Fine Motor and Auditory Fireworks Activity

Use this fireworks themed sensory activity to incorporate skills such as fine motor skills, fine motor strength, bilateral coordination, and eye-hand coordination with an auditory processing component that is perfect for the 4th of July, or any patriotic holiday! It uses bubble wrap and red, white, and blue colored stickers to make a sensory tool that kids will love.

This is a fun fireworks themed activity to support the needs of individuals with auditory sensitivities especially when it comes to fireworks being too loud or sudden noises that typically occur during fireworks season.

Happy Independence Day!  We had fun one day this week with a quick little festive patriotic fine motor activity.  I stuck a bunch of red and blue labeling stickers on large bubble wrap.
When Big Sister and Little Guy saw this, they were very excited!
The pop made a perfect firework sound for each color.  It really did sound like the crack of  little fireworks.  We did a little listening activity, where I would tell them…”Pop red, then blue, then blue.”  We did a few patterns and all reds, and then all blues.
Each little bubble gave a very satisfying crack!
And then there was a huge crack as a certain Little Guy jumped on the rest of the un-popped bubbles 🙂

Fine Motor Play with Tissue Paper

Pinching and crumbling paper is an excellent fine motor exercise for children.  It is an activity that works the small muscles of the hand and really strengthens the arches of the hands.  If a child has weak muscles in their hands and the arches are not defined, you may see them holding a pencil or small items between their thumb and the side of their index finger.  The arches of their hand may not be defined and nice and round.  You may also see them holding their hands close to their chest as they attempt to gain stabilization of their arms to do the small motor task.
To really work those muscles, you could have your child first tear the bits of tissue paper before they crumble them up.
Defined arches are very important in shoe tying, handwriting, and managing clothing like buttons and snaps.

This was an easy and fun little activity to throw together.
We have a bunch of little tissue paper squares in our craft supplies.  Put them next to a couple of empty plastic bottles, and the kids know what to do!
Pushing the tissue paper into the spout of the water bottle is great for encouraging a tripod grasp (using the thumb, index, and middle finger).
Holding the bottle with the non-dominant hand allows the child to work on their bilateral hand coordination (using both hands together in a coordinated manner…kids need this when they begin shoe tying and managing the zipper on their coat).
…And everyone loved the cool crunchy sound the bottle made when you squashed it!

What did we work on today?

Fine Motor Strength

Tripod Grasp

Bilateral Hand Coordination

Arch Strengthening

Eye-Hand Coordination


Auditory Input

Cause and Effect

Fine Motor Play with crafting pom poms

Fine motor play for toddlers is a win in our house.  Toddlers seem to love moving, scooping, dropping, and sorting items, so why not incorporate fine motor skills into the activity?   

Looking for more creative ideas for toddlers?  Try these ones

Fine Motor Work for Toddlers and Preschoolers

This activity is so easy to put together and fun for different ages.  My Toddler and nephew (both 16 months old) were immediately loving this one.  They saw the pile of crafting pom poms and the bottles on the table and were instantly popping the fuzz balls into the empty water bottles.
NOTE: If you try this activity with little ones who love to explore with their mouths, please keep a very close eye on them.  Or put this one on hold for a few months. 
Pushing the pom poms into the bottles is great for working on a tripod grasp, and the littler kids tended to push the ball into the bottle by using their index finger (Index Isolation).
 When kids develop isolation of individual fingers, it improves their dexterity, separates the sides of the hand, and allows them to manipulate small objects with accuracy. 
As they progress in fine motor development, you will see the ring finger, and pinkie finger fold down into a fist as they use just their thumb, pointer finger, and ring finger to manipulate little objects.  The ring and pinkie fingers are then able to stabilize the hand during activities such as handwriting, cutting with scissors, and shoe tying.   

Color Sorting for Preschoolers

Little Guy (who is 3) sorted the different colored pom poms into bottles.
 We had fun with this for a long time.  They were occupied before and after nap time with this one!
To get the pom poms out of the bottles, I was able to pull them out quickly.  The little kids were not able to get them out, but it was not too difficult for Big Sister.  











Bilateral Coordination for Toddlers

The toddlers had a little trouble at first, managing the bottle with their helper hand while concentrating on putting the pom poms into the bottle top.  This is a really great activity to work on bilateral coordination for little ones.  After a while, they both got better at it.  That was pretty neat to see.  It really helps, too, that the bottle made a loud crinkly sound when they squeezed too  hard.  What a great auditory cue for them to lessen their grip on the bottle
Don’t have the pom poms at the house???  Use cotton balls.  
Have fun with this!

MORE Fine motor activities your child will LOVE: