We are currently doing a Solar System unit in our homeschooling. It has been a really fun science unit to work on because there are so many fun hands-on activities that can go along with it. I created a glow-in-the-dark solar system sensory bin for the kids to play with and also made them this Space sensory bottle.
One of the great things about this particular sensory bottle is that it is naturally weighted because of the rocks. This adds an extra sensory element and some children (and adults!) can find this particularly calming.
- empty water bottle (I used a Voss water bottle because I like the look of the lid and the shape of the bottle)
- black gravel or black sand as fill
- black decorative rocks
- Space Toob
I created this discovery bottle in layers because I didn’t want for the figures to all get stuck at the top and it turns out that was the right call. I put a layer of fill, then half a handful of the decorative rocks, then a space shuttle or satellite or astronaut or two and then repeated the process a few more times. Layering the fill and rocks created pockets for the objects from the Space Toob to sit in.
This also created an I-Spy type of element to the space sensory bottle as well. The kids could search for the space crafts and astronauts (and their favourite character, the monkey in space) and find them by turning the bottle different ways.
There is also an auditory feedback element to this sensory bottle as it gets tipped back and forth during play.
This does contain small parts, so if younger children are going to play with it, you may want to secure the lid by gluing it in place with a hot glue gun.
If you are looking for other sensory ideas, you may want to sign up for Join our free 5 part email series Sensory Solutions and Activities and get our Sensory System Behaviours Easy Reference Cards.