Break out the water beads to make a super simple Valentine’s Day sensory bottle with the kids! An engaging addition to your valentine activities for preschoolers.
I’m a big fan of water beads and have been for years. They are such an interesting sensory experience for the kids.
However, water beads shouldn’t be openly used with kids who still put things in their mouths or ears. But you can definitely get creative and find other ways younger kids can experience water beads. Sealed baggies work well, as do sensory bottles.
Valentine’s Day Sensory Bottle
That’s what is so great about this red water beads bottle! You can use it with children of a variety of ages, adapting it to meet the needs of different children.
Older children can definitely help you assemble this sensory bottle. Perhaps you can even make some bottles to share with younger children.
Heart Sensory Bottle Materials
Sometimes, kids get the most out of the simplest of activities. The Valentine’s Day sensory bottle is no exception.
To make this exact Valentine’s Day sensory bottle, we used:
You can definitely use different materials if you’d like to. Perhaps you just want to use red water beads, or maybe you’d like to add some valentine sequins. That’s totally up to you!
How to Make a Valentine Water Beads Sensory Bottle
Start by expanding the water beads. Place a teaspoon of red water beads and a teaspoon of clear water beads in a large bowl of water.
Let the water beads sit in the water for about 24 hours. I’ve found it usually takes about 8 hours or so to get them to full size. But sitting in the water for a full day ensures the water beads are fully expanded.
Related: Candy Heart Experiment
Next, drain the excess water. Sometimes we use a colander to do this. Sometimes we use a slotted spoon to remove the water beads from the bowl of water.
Then it’s time to add the water beads to the clean, empty bottle. Fill the bottle about 3/4 of the way up. If you have kids helping you, consider using a funnel for this step. Honestly, I’m a bit of a klutz at times, so a funnel benefits me greatly too!
Add the acrylic hearts next. Then put the top back on the bottle and shake it up to disperse the hearts.
After that, you can do a few different things. You can leave the bottle as is, you can add more water beads, or you can add water.
Once the Valentine’s Day sensory bottle looks the way you’d like, make sure the top is closed tightly. Consider sealing it with tape or glue, especially if younger children will be using the bottle.
Play and Learn with a Valentine’s Day Sensory Bottle
Once your valentine sensory jar is ready to go, it’s time to let the children interact with it!
Some children will enjoy manipulating the bottle, moving it back and forth. It’s interesting to see which children do this slowly, and which children prefer to shake the bottle vigorously.
Other kids might get caught up in counting the acrylic hearts. You can encourage these children to keep track of the hearts they’re counting. They can keep a tally, write the numbers as they count, or place a heart cutout out as they count.
Still others might focus on finding the “hidden” clear water beads. They can hold the bottle up to the light and move it around to find the water beads camouflaged by the water.
For older children, consider combining this activity with a valentine sensory bin. Place the bottle out, along with a bin, spoons, and funnels. The kids can empty and re-make the bottle as they play. Here are some additional tools that the kids might enjoy with this activity:
More Sensory Ideas for Valentine’s Day
If your students loved this Valentine’s Day sensory bottle, I’ve got more ideas for you:
- Valentine sensory activities
- Sensory bins for Valentine’s Day
- Valentine sensory bottles and calm down jars
What are some of your favorite valentine sensory ideas? Feel free to leave some ideas for me in the comments below.
Valentine’s Day Preschool Lesson Plans
Do you feel like you spend way too much time lesson planning? Or do you just need a little help coming up with engaging activity ideas for the kids? Let Preschool Teacher 101 help you with our full and comprehensive lesson plans, activity packs, song sets, and more!
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