My kids love sensory bottles. They find falling glitter and swirling colors pretty and calming. This time, rather than making a liquid-based sensory bottle, which can sometimes get messy if the caps fall off, we decided to make a dry sensory bottle that mimics a rainstorm. This sensory bottle turned out even better than I had hoped, and the kids had a lot of fun transforming their supplies into a dry rainstorm that really sounded like rain when gently shaken.

The rainstorm sensory bottle was a hit!

These rainstorm sensory bottles are so much fun for kids to make and really sound like rain is falling right in the cup! Sensory play for spring!

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for the Rainstorm Sensory Bottle:

  • Clear Plastic Cups
  • Cotton Balls
  • Blue Toothpicks
  • Glitter
  • Rice
  • Hot Glue
These rainstorm sensory bottles are so much fun for kids to make and really sound like rain is falling right in the cup! Sensory play for spring!

Before starting this activity, dye your rice blue.  Place about 1/2 a cup of rice in a plastic baggie and add a few drops of blue food coloring. Seal the bag and remove any extra air. Let your kids shake the bag until all the rice turns blue.

Fill both cups with cotton balls. Pour the rice into one cup and put the toothpicks in the cup as well. The more toothpicks you add, the more rain-like the sensory bottle will sound when you gently move it around.

These rainstorm sensory bottles are so much fun for kids to make and really sound like rain is falling right in the cup! Sensory play for spring!

Add glitter to the rice bottle for extra sparkle.

These rainstorm sensory bottles are so much fun for kids to make and really sound like rain is falling right in the cup! Sensory play for spring!

Glue the two cups together along the rim using hot glue. Make sure the seal is perfect so you don’t get glitter everywhere.

Once the glue dries, show the kids how to gently turn the bottle upside down and listen to the rain-like sounds it makes.

These rainstorm sensory bottles are so much fun for kids to make and really sound like rain is falling right in the cup! Sensory play for spring!

Show your kids how the cotton balls represent clouds, the toothpicks represent lightning, the rice represents rain, and the glitter represents hail or ice.

These rainstorm sensory bottles are so much fun for kids to make and really sound like rain is falling right in the cup! Sensory play for spring!

The rainstorm sensory bottle will be a huge hit with most kids and is a fun way to learn about rain during a weather unit study.

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

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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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