This insect sensory bottle is incredibly easy to make, and it’s sure to keep the kids engage as they play and learn. It’s perfect for your list of super simple sensory activities!
A lot of the sensory bottles we make are created using wet ingredients. Mostly because the kids and I have always enjoyed testing how best to make glitter and confetti float around before settling. Plus, it’s just so calming to watch glitter swirl inside calm down jars.
But dry sensory bottles have just as much to offer! They are appealing to the eyes, just like wet discovery jars are. AND they have the added benefit of more engagement for the sense of sound.
But don’t stop there! Try incorporating the kids’ sense of taste and touch as well. Guide your students in creating some of the cutest bug-themed healthy snacks from Fantastic Fun and Learning! These snack ideas are for great fine motor skills and spatial awareness. And, not to mention, they’re fantastic for the sense of taste!
Insect Sensory Bottle
In addition to appealing to the kids’ senses of sight and sound, this bug sensory bottle is super easy to make. I mean, SO VERY simple.
Of course, the bottle’s simplicity doesn’t have an impact on all the learning it provides. Sometimes simplest is best, right?
Bug Discovery Bottle Materials
Here’s what the insect sensory bottles were made with:
Yes, that’s it!
And of course, you can change things up if you want to. If you’d rather use a different sensory base for the bottle, consider these options:
You can also dye the white rice if you want it to look more like dirt or grass. And it’s not very difficult:
- First, pour rice into a baggie or sealable container.
- Then, squirt in some liquid watercolors.
- Next, seal the baggie or container and shake.
- Finally, spread the rice out to dry.
And you can use something other than buttons to represent the insects:
Basically, you have a lot of choices for how you assemble your own insect sensory jar. And if your kiddos really enjoy insects, teach the children about the lifecycle of a butterfly with a series of butterfly sensory bottles for preschool!
How to Make an Insect Sensory Bottle
Now that you have the rundown of all the materials you can use, let’s jump into make the bottle.
First, grab a clean, empty plastic bottle. You really want to make sure it’s dry! Otherwise, the rice will get pretty disgusting after a while.
Next, have the kids grab a funnel and pour the rice into the bottle. Stop every so often to add an insect button and then add more rice.
Once all of the buttons have been added, fill the last little bit of the insect sensory bottle with rice.
Finally, close the bottle. If you’ll be using it with children who might choke on the materials, consider gluing the cap shut.
Play and Learn with the Bug Sensory Bottle
Once the bottle is put together, it’s time for the kids to explore with it. You can place it in your classroom sensory or science center, or use it with your small groups.
Related: Creepy Crawly Slime Recipe for Kids
Many of the kids will focus on the fun noise the insect sensory bottle makes. And that’s great! Encourage them to describe the sounds they hear. Ask questions like, “How do you think the sound would change if we had less rice in the bottle?” In fact, if you have the chance, why not test that out with the kids?
Other children will really get into the I-Spy aspect of the insect sensory bottle. You can ask the children to write or draw all of the insects they find. Be sure to place paper, crayons, and clipboards out near the bottles.
Consider adding some real images of insects hear the sensory jars. If you can, have real pictures of the exact insects you’ve added to your bottles. Challenge the children to find the button that matches up to each of the real photos. Be sure to label each of the insects, too, so the kids are exposed to the words!
More Ideas for the Insect Sensory Bottle
I wanted to share a few other ideas for this bug sensory jar. Once I’m on a roll, I just can’t stop!
Related: Printable Ladybug Letter Puzzles
So consider some of these suggestions if you’re looking for more ways to use the insect bottles.
🐞 Make multiple sensory jars, but keep each of them focused on just one insect.
🐝 Pair the bottles with a large sensory tub (if you have kids who won’t put the items into their mouths). Add scoops and funnels to the bin. Then let the children make, and then unmake, their own bottles. Or you can create an insect small world play bin!
🐜 Add letter beads to really ramp up the I-spy sensory bottles. Take this a step further by only adding the letters found in each insect’s name. Encourage the kids to find each letter from specific insects as they play with the bottle.
How will YOU make an insect sensory bottle for your classroom? Feel free to tell me all about it in the comments below.
Preschool Insect Books
I thought I’d share a few books you can pair with your insect sensory bottles. Yes, it doesn’t take much of an excuse for me to start looking for book ideas to share!
Please note that some of the books have some non-insect creepy crawlies in them. I’m not very fond of arachnids, so I like to be aware when I’m reading buggy books to the kids.
Done-For-You Preschool Resources
Lesson planning can seem like such a daunting task. It really doesn’t have to be, though, especially with help from Preschool Teacher 101! We have created lesson plans, activity packs, digital activities, a song series, and much more to help teachers just like you.
So many kids are intrigued by things that creep and crawl, so this insect sensory bottle can be used any time of year. But I really think it would be perfect to pair with an insect theme for your classroom.
For more of an idea of what we offer, watch the video below. It outlines some of the activities we’ve included in the lesson plans!
At Preschool Teacher 101, we are proud to offer a membership program with three membership options to best suit your needs. Sign up to join the waiting list for The Pack from Preschool Teacher 101 today!