Sensory play is a fabulous way to introduce your child to the world around them and help reduce anxiety. Kids who have a difficult time with focus or can be easily overwhelmed can find some focus when using sensory bottles, sensory bins or other sensory activities like the Thanksgiving sensory bottle I’m sharing today.

Fall sensory bottle for kids. Perfect sensory activity for Thanksgiving.

Recommended Grade Level:

Thanksgiving Sensory Bottle Supplies:

  • Paper Plate
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Pasta: Shell, Rotini, Farfalle
  • Rice
  • Ruler

Sensory bottles are a tool that helps children self-regulate. This object is meant to be a calm object that your child can focus on during times of high stress, anxiety or difficulties with attention span. Not only can you use this Thanksgiving sensory bottle to calm your child, but you can use it to entertain your child for hours as they watch the Thanksgiving confetti move around inside their sensory bottle.

What is a calm down bottle?

A sensory bottle is sometimes referred to as a calm down bottle. This is typically a squishy plastic container with various materials inside.

For your liquid you can choose from several different options.

  • Plain water (fillers may float directly to the top or bottom and may not ‘swirl’)
  • Corn syrup (makes for a slow moving liquid)
  • Water mixed with vegetable glycerin or clear glue (This is what we prefer)

A calm down bottle is used to help keep your child engaged and relaxed throughout their day.

I’ve found that children and adults of all ages can benefit from a sensory bottle. This fun sensory activity is not only a great way to encourage your children to make their own sensory bottle that will soothe them, but adults can have fun making their own Thanksgiving sensory bottle too.

I personally have a sensory bottle on my kitchen counter that I made this week and can’t resist picking it up and giving it a shake every time I walk past it.

Easy Thanksgiving and fall leaves glitter sensory bottle for kids.

What do you put in a sensory bottle?

You can put virtually anything in a sensory bottle. My Thanksgiving sensory bottle activity has a mix of Thanksgiving confetti or colorful glitter, clear Elmer’s glue, water, and optional mini toys inside of a plastic storage bag or sensory bottle.

Use glitter, fall confetti and a water bottle to create a Thanksgiving sensory bottle for kids

Some people opt to create a themed sensory bottle such as beach living, galaxy or holiday-themed. You could easily make my Thanksgiving sensory bottle into another holiday-themed sensory bottle by using that holiday theme’s glitter or confetti.

Why are Sensory Bottles Important?

Sensory bottles’ key importance is to provide a hands-on experience to the world around us. Through sensory play with this Thanksgiving sensory bottle, your child will start to understand colors, texture, and things seen in their world. The Thanksgiving confetti provides a representation of items that pertain to Thanksgiving while hands-on play with this sensory bottle teaches your child about touch.

I think that sensory play is important because it encourages fun! In all reality, life is far too busy to not step back and pause. This Thanksgiving sensory bottle activity will provide hours of fun as you watch the glitter or Thanksgiving confetti move around inside this wonderful sensory bottle.

Assembling the Thanksgiving Sensory Bottle

First off, I absolutely adore Voss water bottles!

They are the perfect water bottles for sensory bottles. They can be hard to find in stores, but we make so many sensory bottles that I have subscribe and save set up on Amazon to purchase cases of the water regularly.

If you don’t have a Voss water bottle, simply choose any water bottle that has smooth sides and an easily removable label.

Then put a couple inches of water into the bottom of the water bottle. Dump the confetti and glitter on top of the water.

Fill a water bottle with water and glue to create a fall sensory bottle

At this point, I like to add a couple inches of vegetable glycerin or clear glue. The more glycerin you add, the longer it will take for the liquid to settle after the bottle has been shaken.

Then, fill the bottle to the top with water.

Create a fall sensory bottle with glitter and fall colored leaves

I recommend using super glue or hot glue to secure the bottle lid, so that kids can’t take the lid off and create a huge sensory mess while playing with the sensory bottle.

What are some other types of sensory bottles?

I’m happy to report that there are many different types of sensory bottles for you to create, such as:

  • Name Recognition – create a sensory bottle using mini alphabet magnets inside a sensory bottle that spells out your child’s name.
  • Flower Recognition – create a sensory bottle using lilacs and other flowers from the outdoors to help your child feel and smell flowers found in their yard.
  • Color Recognition – create a rainbow sensory bottle using liquid watercolor and corn syrup to create a beautiful color display.

There are many other sensory activities that families have used to teach their children about taste, touch, sound, smell, and sight. While this Thanksgiving sensory bottle may only touch on a few of these senses, it’s a wonderful activity to encourage your child’s creativity, imagination, and promote more calmness in your home.

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

Thanksgiving themed glitter sensory bottle
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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