Glitter bottles are easy to make, reusable, and low cost too! We love to try anything homemade and sensory-filled here!  That’s why we have so many great sensory activities to explore. Glitter sensory bottles take little time to make but offer numerous, lasting benefits for your kids! Read on to find out how to make DIY glitter bottles or jars!

Sensory Glitter Bottles For Kids

Young kids love these fun glitter bottles and they are easy to make yourself with materials you already have on hand or can grab at the store.

You can make glitter bottles with glitter glue. You can see how we did that with our Valentine sensory bottle. But these glitter bottles below use glitter, clear glue, water and food coloring. Water with glitter has to one of the quickest and easiest ways to make a sensory bottle!

Sensory glitter bottles are often made with a pricey, colored glitter glue. See our glitter glue slime. To make a whole rainbow of colors, this would have been quite expensive. Our substitute, glue and a jar of glitter make these DIY glitter bottles much more cost effective!

Looking for more easy sensory bottle ideas? Click here for over 20 sensory bottles you can make yourself or find our list of favorite sensory bottle ideas for you to try at the end.

Why Is Sensory Play Important?

Sensory play makes for awesome hands-on fun and learning for young children as they explore and discover more about the world through their senses! Sensory activities can also calm a child, help a child to focus, and engage a child.

The Many Benefits of Sensory Play

Motor Development Skills ~ Sensory play helps a child explore, discover, and create using motor skills like dumping, filling, and scooping.

Play Skills {emotional development} ~ For both social play and independent play, sensory activities allow children to play cooperatively or side by side. My son has had many positive experiences with other children over a bin of rice!

Language Development ~ Sensory play increases language development by experiencing all there is to see and do with their hands, which leads to great conversations and opportunities to model language.

Using the 5 Senses ~ Many sensory activities include a few of the senses! Touch, sight, sounds, taste, (where appropriate), and smell are the 5 senses. Kids can experience several senses at a time with a sensory bin or sensory play recipe. 

Calming tools ~ Sensory play recipes calm many anxious or worried kiddos. You might find that one works better than another for your kiddo.

Some sensory play materials can settle and soothe, and some can help keep kids’ attention and build their connection with you.

Helpful Resources To Get You Started

There’s so much more to learn about sensory play. Here are a few ideas, with free printables, to help you set up sensory activities easily!

What bottles are best to use?

We like to use our favorite VOSS water bottles for our glitter sensory bottles because they are lovely to reuse.  Of course, use whatever drink, water, or soda bottles you have on hand!

Tip: Browse through the beverage aisle at the grocery store and look for interesting-shaped containers!

We haven’t found the need to tape or glue our water bottle caps shut, but it’s an option. Especially if you have kids that may be keen to empty the bottle’s contents or drop them on the floor often.

What is the best liquid for sensory bottles?

The best liquid to fill a sensory or glitter bottle is definitely water! Water is the #1 base on hand, and you can make color and glitter bottles without glue. Or you can combine water and oil for a cool science sensory bottle. You can make temperature sensory bottles with warm and cold water for early science!

Benefits of a Sensory Glitter Bottle

Benefits of glitter bottles include…

  • Visual sensory play for toddlers, preschoolers and elementary.
  • Excellent calming tool for anxiety.  Simply shake and focus on the glitter bottle.
  • Great for calm down or time out time. Slip one in a basket of calm down goodies or in a quiet space for when your child needs to regroup and spend a few minutes alone.
  • Color play.
  • Language development. Anything that can spark curiosity and interest makes for great social interaction and conversation.
Glitter Bottles

How To Make A Glitter Bottle

Tip: Don’t be afraid to try glitter glue for an even glitzier glitter bottle.


  • Water bottles. (I chose VOSS bottles which are more expensive but pretty. Ordinary water bottles work too! However, I like to repurpose VOSS bottles for our discovery bottles.)
  • Clear glue
  • Water
  • Food Coloring
  • Glitter

Tip: Room-temperature water is best for quickly mixing the glue and glitter.

Glitter Bottle Ingredients Inexpensive Clear Glue Glitter Voss Water Bottle


To make our glitter bottles, we decided to use it as a mini color mixing activity!

STEP 1. Fill the bottles with water and add the appropriate food coloring to each bottle.  Then mix up those secondary colors!

STEP 2. Add the glue to each bottle. Usually, it’s one bottle of glue per bottle. The more glue, the slower the glitter settles. We used half a bottle of glue per bottle.

See our DIY snow globe for more about how glue slows the glitter!

STEP 3. Add glitter and a lot of glitter! Don’t be shy!

Glitter Bottles Rainbow Water Sensory Play

STEP 4. Cover and shake to incorporate the water, glue, and glitter evenly.

We have never glued our caps, but it is something you might want to consider. You can also decorate the caps with colored tape like we did here.

Tip: Create a holiday theme like this Valentine’s Day Glitter Bottle with craft tape and traditional colors. Here we used red glitter glue.

Kids love to give a glitter sensory bottle a good shake! They can be mesmerizing and calming, making them an excellent alternative for a time out, time in, or just a break from the stress of the day. Keep one handy anywhere!

You can also whip up these easy sensory balloons for squeezing.

Rainbow Calm Down Bottles

How Do You Make a Glitter Bottle with Confetti?

If you want an alternative option to a plain glitter bottle, add confetti or table scatter in different themes like this butterfly glitter bottle. Choose lightweight acrylic table scatter or foil confetti shapes.

More Sensory Bottle Ideas

If your kids love these glitter bottles, why not make one of the sensory bottles below…

Click on the image below or on the link for more easy sensory play activities.


  1. New discovery (always learning!!): A glitter bottle made with red dishwashing liquid (half dish liquid and half water). All the glitter lost it colour after a few days. Could not see it at all. Obviously the soap does something to the glitter here in South Africa.

  2. Peel off the label as best as possible then use rubbing alcohol and a rag! Works great!

  3. Blow hot air from a hairdryer on the labels for 15-30 sec and then they peel off without leaving residue

  4. Are these bottles that you use the glass kinds or the plastic? I’m just wondering with the glass ones if I’d be worried about them being too heavy for kiddos or worrying about them dropping and breaking… Thanks

    I’m a counselor working with children so I’d like these to be able to be transportable/portable so the kids can take them home, or wherever they might need help calming down or focusing. The VOSS ones I saw in store just seemed so big, i”m torn

  5. They aren’t as big as others I’ve seen. I am pretty sure their plastic one, at least the ones I just purchased to do this with, are only 11.5 ounce bottles.

  6. Hi 🙂 Love this idea! I found clear glue but it says “washable” – will that work or will it dilute too much in the water? Thank you

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