Going to the beach is one of the ultimate sensory experiences. The smell of the ocean water, feel of the sand on your toes, and calming sight of the waves all come together for a super relaxing sensory experience. If you can’t be at the beach, or are anxiously counting down the days until your next trip, learning How to Make Your Own Ocean Sensory Bottle is a great way to bring the amazing ocean wave sensory experience into your home or classroom!

Ocean Theme Sensory Calm Down Bottle

Recommended Grade Level:

Ocean Sensory Calm Down Bottle Supplies:

  • 1 clear, empty 2 liter plastic bottle
  • 1 bottle of vegetable oil
  • 1 bottle of water
  • blue food coloring
  • strong tape
  • funnel
  • small ocean animal figurines

This ocean sensory bottle also doubles as a fun science experiment for your children!

What Are Sensory Bottles?

sensory bottles for kids

Sensory bottles, also called calm down bottles and discovery bottles, are a fun and easy sensory play idea for children.

Sensory bottles are typically clear bottles filled with clear liquids (water, baby oil, clear glue, etc…) and small eye catching craft supplies like glitter, confetti, pom poms, and other small toys.

Options are really limitless when it comes to creating sensory bottles!

Adding alphabet beads is one fun way to add an educational twist to your sensory bottle.

We also love adding small animal figurines to our bottles like we did in this adorable turtle themed sensory bottle!

Why Homemade Sensory Bottles Are Great:

Sensory bottle DIY activities are awesome for so many reasons!

Octopus paper plate craft for preschoolers in process photos.

Cheap and Easy

Calm down jars and sensory bottles are easy and inexpensive to make.


Most sensory bottle materials are ones you likely already have lying around your house.
Making easy sensory bottles is a great way to recycle old bottles.


Sensory bottles (also known as calm down jars) are a really good way to help calm down or soothe an upset child.

Perfect for Babies and Toddlers

Containing sensory materials in a bottle instead of using a sensory play table is perfect for babies and toddlers who may try to put the materials in their mouths. Bottles provide a wonderful sensory experience for children that fit perfectly into their hands!

Brain Development

Playing with sensory bottles is wonderful for your child’s brain development.

How To Make Your Own Sensory Bottles:

Learning how to make calm down sensory bottles is super simple and fun. Just gather your materials and your little helpers and you are ready to go!

Materials needed for this Ocean Sensory Bottle:

  • 1 clear, empty 2 liter plastic bottle
  • 1 bottle of vegetable oil
  • 1 bottle of water
  • blue food coloring
  • strong tape
  • funnel
  • small ocean animal figurines

How To Create A DIY Ocean Sensory Bottle:

Make sure your 2 liter plastic bottle is clean on the inside and put the funnel at the top.

Fill the bottle half way full with water and add 5 drops of blue food coloring.

Gently shake the bottle to mix the water and food coloring.

Using the funnel, fill the bottle up the remainder of the way with vegetable oil.

Put the lid on, screw it tight, and use the tape to secure the lid. You can also use hot glue to secure the lid if you prefer.

Shake the contents of the bottle and watch as the oil and water sensory bottle mixes together and then separates.

Other Ideas For Your Ocean Themed Sensory Bottle:

  • If you don’t have a 2 liter bottle, use a smaller bottle like a clear Voss water bottle to create a smaller ocean in a bottle.

Personalize the Sensory Bottle

Decorate the outside of your bottle with ocean stickers.

Explore Texture

Glue small sea shells to the outside of your bottle to add a texture to the outside.

Pretend Play

Give the ocean bottle and some small ocean animal figurines to your child and let their imagination go wild with some creative pretend play.

Science Exploration

Work on moving the bottle in different ways and see how it affects the liquid. What happens when you try rocking the bottle slowly and then quickly? Side to side and then up and down? Spinning it around?

Experiment with Fillers

Try making a different calm down jar with oil, clear glue, water, glitter, or other fun materials.

Learn More About Density

Tie in this activity with a science density lesson!

Two fun activities that explore density are:

Find even more engaging activities in the Life Over C’s shop!

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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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