Tipping this DIY butterfly sensory bottle from top to bottom keeps the colorful rainbow of butterflies flying gently through it.
Use this DIY butterfly sensory bottle for no-mess safe sensory play as a calm-down tool to help children learn self-regulation skills, a science teaching tool, a meditation aid, and a timeout timer. You might also enjoy our sparkling mermaid tail sensory bottle craft. 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, is fun to play with, and can help soothe my spirited daughter in a snap. She enjoys tipping the bottle upside down and right side up again to watch the butterflies drift to and fro. Isn’t it gorgeous!?
Ready to make this soothing calm-down jar filled with butterflies for your kids? First, gather the butterfly bottle craft supplies below. Next, follow the step-by-step sensory bottle instructions to make this DIY butterfly calm-down jar.
DIY Butterfly Sensory Bottle Recipe Materials
- New or recycled water bottle or mason jar
- Goo Gone (optional)
- 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
First, gather the sensory bottle craft supplies listed above. Next, follow the step-by-step instructions to make this butterfly calming tool.
Step 1 – Clean Bottle or Jar
- Peel off the sticker on the recycled bottle. Use Goo Gone to remove any sticky residue that remains.
Step 2 – Add Water to Sensory Bottle or Calm-down Jar
- Pour a 1/2 cup of water into the bottle or mason jar.
Step 3 – Drop Butterflies into the Bottle or Jar
- Put 10 – 30 butterflies into the bottle or jar.
Step 4 – Add Glitter (optional)
- Sprinkle in a few shakes of gold glitter. (Start with a small amount, you can always add more glitter later.)
Step 5 – Pour in Clear Liquid Handsoap
- Fill the bottle up the rest of the way with clear liquid hand soap. Make sure to fill it to the top, so no air remains in it. Keep pouring the hand soap in until the bubbles at the top overflow and fall out.
Step 6 – Put the Lid on the Butterfly Sensory Bottle and Give it a Shake.
- Place the lid on the bottle and shake it up.
- Warning: After giving this butterfly sensory bottle a shake, it may be a bit murky for a few hours until the contents mix and settle. (It’s normal for calm-down bottles with liquid hand soap and water in the recipe to be cloudy for several hours after the first shake.) However, once it settles, this sensory bottle DIY will remain clear each time you shake it or turn it upside down.
Related: Seashells Calming Sensory Bottle
DIY Butterfly Sensory Bottle Tips
Gently tip the sensory bottle from top to bottom to watch the butterflies slowly move and fly. Continue to play with this butterfly sensory bottle for a day or two, and make sure you like how it moves.
If you want the butterflies to move faster, pour some liquid and add more water. Or, if you want the butterflies to move slower, pour some fluid out and add more clear liquid hand soap. Want more glitter? Add some more. Easy peasy!
Once you are happy with your DIY butterfly sensory bottle, 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
Feel free to add a science lesson on viscosity while making this sensory bottle–there are many fun ways to do this. One way, for example, is to ask children to notice how the different ingredients move inside the bottle.
Another way is to invite children to make another butterfly sensory bottle without hand soap (use only water)–and use it to compare how fast the butterflies move in each one. Asking these types of questions, and setting up these types of science experiments, will cause children to wonder why and inspire them to discover the answers to the questions they seek, which is how learning happens best!
Calm Down Sensory Bottles
DIY Calm down sensory bottles is a great science teaching aid, a timeout tool, and can 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 investigate items without the risk of choking on them safely.
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!