Tipping this DIY butterfly sensory bottle from top to bottom keeps the colorful rainbow of butterflies flying gently through it.
This butterfly sensory bottle can be used for no-mess safe sensory play, as a calm down tool to help children learn self-regulation skills, a science teaching tool or meditation aid, and, a timeout timer. For more information about sensory bottles and their uses check out Calm Down Sensory Bottles 101.
Related: DIY Butterfly Tree
How to Make a Butterfly Sensory Bottle Calm Down Jar
This DIY sensory bottle is super easy to make and a lot of fun to play with.
First, gather the butterfly bottle supplies below. Next, follow the step-by-step sensory bottle DIY directions to make your own butterfly calm down jar.
DIY Butterfly Sensory Bottle Recipe Materials
- Recycled water bottle (The bottle pictured is a Voss water bottle, but you can use any bottle from the recycle bin, or a mason jar.)
- Goo Gone
- Butterflies – or try THESE or THESE butterflies.
- Gold glitter (optional)
- Clear liquid hand soap
- Super Glue
DIY Butterfly Sensory Bottle Recipe with Step by Step Directions
- Peel off the sticker on the recycled bottle. Use Goo Gone to remove any sticky residue that remains.
- Pour 1/2 cup of tap water into the bottle.
- Place 10 – 30 butterflies into the bottle.
- Sprinkle in a few shakes of gold glitter. (Start with a small amount, you can always add in more glitter later.)
- Fill the bottle up the rest of the way with clear liquid hand soap. You want to fill it all the way to the top so there is no air in it.
- Place the lid on the bottle and shake it up.
After you give this butterfly sensory bottle a shake, it may be a bit murky for a few hours until the contents mix and settle. It’s totally normal for calm down bottles with liquid hand soap and water in the recipe to be cloudy for the first 2 – 6 after the first shake.
Once it settles, this sensory bottle DIY will remain clear each time you shake it, or turn it upside down. Tip this sensory bottle from top to bottom to watch the butterflies move and fly.
Related: Seashells Calming Sensory Bottle
DIY Butterfly Sensory Bottle Tips
Play with this butterfly sensory bottle for a day or two to make sure you like the way it moves. If you want the butterflies to move faster pour some of the liquid out and add more water.
If you want the butterflies to move slower pour some of the liquid out and add more clear liquid hand soap. Want more glitter? Add some more. Easy peasy!
Once you are happy with it glue on the lid with superglue and hand it over to your kids. Unless you’re keeping it for yourself of course. 😉
Butterfly Sensory Bottle Science Lesson
Add in a science lesson on viscosity both while making this bottle and by comparing how quickly the butterflies fly to the bottom of the butterfly bottle with how slowly the glitter falls.
The glitter will stay suspended while the butterflies will slowly drop. After a few hours, the glitter will slowly find its way to the bottom of the butterfly bottle as well.
Ask your kids why they think the butterflies sink faster than the glitter does. Do your best to allow them to discover the solution themselves instead of telling or explaining why.
Calm Down Sensory Bottles
DIY Calm down sensory bottles can be used as a science teaching aid, a timeout tool, and to help an anxious child (or adult) calm down and unwind.
Calm down bottles like this butterfly bottle are also an easy way for babies and toddlers to safely investigate items, without the risk of choking on them.
To learn more about sensory bottles, their uses, how to make them, and troubleshooting tips check out Calm Down Sensory Bottles 101.
For more fun ideas check out DIY Projects for Do it Yourself Families!
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!