This week we are lucky to have Casey from Little Learners share a DIY Nature Sensory Bottle activity…

Sensory Play is an important part of early childhood development. Not only does it help to develop a solid foundation of scientific knowledge, it’s also a great way to get Little Learners involved in exploring the world around them. Today I am sharing some simple sensory bottles you can make at home to encourage your Little Learners to explore and ask questions about nature!

In order to make these bottles, you will need to collect some clear plastic bottles. I love the plastic VOSS bottles which you can occasionally find at Woolworths, but any clear bottle is great. Our nature bottles are from the confectionery aisle in Kmart. They are perfect for the smallest of children. Little Learners just love to explore anything and everything with their mouths, but this can be stressful and dangerous when the items are quite small. Placing these tiny items into a bottle means that babies can safely explore.

The next part is the fun part! Head outside with a basket in hand and go on a Nature Walk with your Little Learner.

You could simply explore your own backyard but if you’re feeling adventurous, you could also go to your local park, beach or forest. Encourage your Little Learner to find items to place inside the bottles. You might collect different shaped and coloured leaves, small pebbles, shells, sand, dirt, sticks, feathers, flowers – anything that your Little Learner finds exciting!

When you get home, you can add the items to your bottles. Depending on the age of your Little Learners, they can help with this process too. Even little ones around 1 year of age will love to help you put the nature treasures into the bottles.

You might like to make different themed nature sensory bottles depending on how many items you find. Having a bottle filled with different sized pebbles and stones will make a delightful sound when your Little Learner shakes it!

One of our favourite bottles is our ocean bottle. Inside there are different shells, driftwood and coral from our recent beach holidays.

If you collected some flowers, you can add water to your bottle as well. That will keep the flowers looking fresh for longer. Add some greenery for the most beautiful floral sensory bottle! My toddler’s Great Grandparents have a lot of wildlife at their house, so we have quite the collection of feathers. We’ve put them inside a bottle so that my 7 month old isn’t tempted to eat them!

As you can see, these bottles are absolutely beautiful and are a fantastic way for your Little Learners to explore nature. They also provide an excellent opportunity to develop oral language skills as you talk about the different nature treasures you find and how they look, feel and smell.

Casey from Little Lifelong Learners provides passionate early years educators with engaging, hands-on resources and activities for their Little Learners. She is a BIG fan of sensory play, especially for babies and toddlers and loves to share fun ideas for play over on Instagram and in her Play Ideas for Little Learners Facebook group. For more sensory play ideas, be sure to head on over to Casey’s website and check out her brand new eBook – Sensory Play for your Little Learners!