DIY Spring Sensory Bottle

Happy Spring everyone! Spring has now sprung and it’s a time for fresh growth, vibrant colors and new life! Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that teach and fascinate her. And, if I’m being completely honest, I find sensory bottles fascinating too, so let’s make one!

SUPPLIES

  • A 16 ounce clear, plastic bottle
  • A funnel
  • 1 1/2 cups of white rice
  • 3/4 teaspoon of white vinegar
  • Green food coloring
  • Miniature insect (or other spring inspired) erasers 
  • Glue (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the rice in a resealable plastic sandwich bag.
  2. Add the vinegar and food coloring to the rice. You can add however many drops of food coloring you’d like, I added 20 drops.
  3. Seal the bag and shake well until the color is well dispersed throughout.
  4. Spread the rice onto a baking sheet and allow it to dry overnight.
  5. Place the funnel in the mouth of your bottle and use it to fill the bottle with half of the rice.
  6. Remove the funnel and add half of the insect erasers.
  7. Screw the lid back onto the bottle and shake until well incorporated, then remove the lid and replace the funnel.
  8. Add the rest of the rice and the rest of the insect erasers.
  9. Replace the lid onto the bottle and shake well again until well incorporated.
  10. If your child is older and you worry about him/her undoing the lid, you can coat the inside of the lid with glue, then screw it back onto the bottle. This will secure the lid and make it harder for little ones to unscrew the lid and create a leak or spill the bottle’s contents.

Enjoy!

DIY Autumn Leaves Sensory Bottle

DIY Autumn Leaves Sensory BottleI love Autumn, it has to be my favorite season of the year!

After creating a Summer-themed ocean wave bottle, I felt inspired to create a sensory bottle for each season and I immediately thought of swirling multi-hued Autumn leaves!  Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that teach and fascinate her. And, if I’m being completely honest, I find sensory bottles fascinating too, so let’s make one!

DIY Autumn Leaves Sensory Bottle

SUPPLIES
  • 16 ounce clear, plastic bottle
  • 6 ounces of hot water
  • Clear glue
  • Slender whisk
  • Glycerin
  • Leaf-shaped glitter
  • Regular glitter (optional)
  • More hot water
  • Glue for the lid

DIY Autumn Leaves Sensory Bottle DIY Autumn Leaves Sensory BottleDIY Autumn Leaves Sensory Bottle

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Pour the 6 ounces of hot (as hot as your tap will run) water into your bottle.
  2. Add 2.5 to 3 ounces (or more) of glue to the hot water in your bottle. The more glue you add, the slower your leaves will swirl and fall.
  3. Whisk the glue in the hot water until well incorporated. You can also replace the lid of the bottle and shake, however this created a lot of foam bubbles for me. They will go away, but it will slow down your progress.
  4. Measure 1 to 2 tablespoons of Glycerin and whisk or replace the lid and shake again.
  5. Add your glitter. I used several different hues of leaf shaped glitter and a few pinches of regular gold glitter.
  6. Pour more hot water into the bottle. Stop before reaching the top, replace the lid and turn the bottle over several times to check how everything moves. At this point you can add more glitter, more glue to make it fall slower, and/or more glycerin to smooth everything out.
  7. After you’re satisfied with the flow of the bottle’s contents, remove the lid again and fill the bottle all the way to the top with the hot water.
  8. If your child is older and you worry about him/her undoing the lid, you can coat the inside of the lid with glue, then screw it back onto the bottle. This will secure the lid and make it harder for little ones to unscrew the lid and create a leak or spill the bottle’s contents.

DIY Autumn Leaves Sensory Bottle

DIY Edible “Sand” for Sensory Playtime

DIY Edible Sand for Sensory PlayIt’s the middle of Summer and I would love to take Zoey to the beach for the first time, but just about everything she picks up is quickly introduced to her mouth! I understand she’s figuring things out (and more power to her), but I’m not super enthusiastic about her ingesting beach sand. So, until she gets a little less eager to put everything in her mouth, why not bring a little beach experience to her?

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that teach and fascinate her. We can make edible “sand” that’s fun to play in and safe to eat out of graham crackers and oatmeal; let’s make it!

Check back next week for the homemade teething cookies I made with the remaining edible “sand”.

DIY Edible Sand for Sensory Play

SUPPLIES
  • 1 box of graham crackers.
  • 2 cups of oatmeal (I used whole grain old-fashioned oats)
  • A food processor
  • A mixing bowl
  • A mixing spoon
  • A container for playing in the “sand” (I used a heavy casserole dish)
  • Beach or ocean themed toys (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Open the graham crackers and blend them in the food processor until they are a fine sand-like texture.
  2. Remove the graham crackers from the food processor and pour them into a mixing bowl.
  3. Measure the oatmeal into the food processor and blend it until it is also a fine sand-like texture.
  4. Remove the oatmeal from the food processor and add it to the mixing bowl with the graham crackers.
  5. Using a mixing spoon, stir the graham crackers and oatmeal together until well combined.
  6. Pour the edible “sand” into the container you’ve chosen for your baby to play in. I used a heavy casserole dish since Zoey’s not strong enough to flip it yet. You can always double or triple the graham cracker and oatmeal ratio if you want to fill a larger container.

    DIY Edible Sand for Sensory Play
  7. Arrange beach and/or ocean themed toys in the sand for your little one to play with (optional).

    DIY Edible Sand for Sensory Play
  8. Introduce the edible “sand” to your baby and enjoy!

    DIY Edible Sand for Sensory PlayDIY Edible Sand for Sensory Play DIY Edible Sand for Sensory Play

DIY Stacking Felt Doughnuts with Sprinkles!

DIY Felt Stacking or Stackable Doughnuts with SprinklesPart of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that teach and fascinate her. I’ve seen the stacking toy done in so many fun and creative ways, but I don’t believe I’ve seen a felt doughnut stacking toy yet, so let’s make one!

My Dad, Zoey’s Grandpa Kev, made the base of this toy. If you do not have access to a competent woodworker/carpenter to make a base, I would recommend using the base of another stacking toy. You can switch out between the rings that came with the toy and felt doughnuts!

DIY Felt Stacking or Stackable Doughnuts with SprinklesI have provided the patterns I used to make the four different sizes of donuts for my stacking toy. You’re welcome to use them if the base of your toy closely resembles mine, or you can make them as play food without the base. Another option would be to create your own patterns using the measurements of your base and a compass.

Pattern for Felt Doughnuts
Doughnut Patterns

SUPPLIES
  • Doughnut and frosting patterns
  • Scissors
  • 4 sheets (9” x 12”) of a doughnut colored felt of your choice
  • A skein of closely matching doughnut colored embroidery thread
  • 4 sheets (9” x 12”) of frosting colored colored felt of your choice
  • 4 skeins of closely matching frosting colored embroidery thread
  • Embroidery needle
  • Fiber filling (stuffing)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print 3 copies each of the two supplied pattern pages.
  2. Use the first two copies to cut out a pair of each size of circle, one for either side of the doughnut.
  3. Create your own wavy frosting pattern within each of the circles on the third pages, and cut those patterns out for your frosting.
  4. Lay the circular patterns on the felt you’ve chosen for you doughnuts and pin them in place.
  5. Lay the frosting patterns on the felt you’ve chosen for the frosting; these can be all the same color, or different colors.
  6. Cut around the patterns. You can do this directly or trace around the edges of the patterns with a pen, then remove the patterns and cut out each shape.

    DIY Felt Stacking or Stackable Doughnuts with Sprinkles
  7. Place the frosting for each doughnut on one of the doughnut halves, aligning the center holes, and pin them to keep them secure.
  8. Cut a length each of three different colored embroidery threads for the sprinkles; there are 6 strands in each embroidery thread, split them in half three by three and peel them apart.
  9. Thread the needle with your first sprinkle color, and poke the threaded needle up from the bottom of the top of the doughnut, emerging through the top of the frosting, and pull it through. Create a sprinkle size length in any direction you choose and poke the needle back down through the frosting to underneath the doughnut. Repeat this process all around the doughnut in a pattern you prefer and tie it off underneath.

    DIY Felt Stacking or Stackable Doughnuts with Sprinkles DIY Felt Stacking or Stackable Doughnuts with Sprinkles
  10. Remove the pins, repeat this process and create sprinkles in two more colors.
  11. Thread the needle with thread that matches the color of your frosting. Begin using neat whip stitches around the outside edges of the frosting starting with your knot underneath the top half of the doughnut.

    DIY Felt Stacking or Stackable Doughnuts with Sprinkles DIY Felt Stacking or Stackable Doughnuts with Sprinkles
  12. Using the same thread color as your frosting, align the bottom half of the doughnut to the top, frosted half and use neat whip stitches around the center hole. To hide your thread, knot it and pull it up through the bottom of the frosted layer to begin. When finished, poke the needle through the bottom doughnut layer, but only come through the middle in between the top and bottom of the doughnut to tie off your knot.
  13. Thread the needle with embroidery thread the color of your doughnut. Once again, use neat whip stitching along the outside edge of your doughnut, concealing the knot inside. About two thirds around, stop stitching and begin adding stuffing. Keep stitching and stuffing as space allows until you’ve made your doughnut whole.

    DIY Felt Stacking or Stackable Doughnuts with Sprinkles DIY Felt Stacking or Stackable Doughnuts with Sprinkles
  14. To conceal the knot, tie a knot at the base of your string still attached to the doughnut and pull it within the edges of the doughnut, going through the stuffing and coming out somewhere near he center hole, then trim this piece off.
  15. Repeat steps 7 through 10 to complete each size doughnut.

    DIY Felt Stacking or Stackable Doughnuts with Sprinkles
  16. Enjoy!