Math Skills: Have your child identify different colors, shapes and sizes of items in the sensory bottle. Count different objects or talk about quantitative concepts (e.g. more, less, a lot and a few). Practice repetitive patterns by shaking the bottle two times and then stopping while chanting, “shake, shake, stop...shake, shake, stop.”
Social Skills: Take turns using the bottle. Make sure to give your child a warning on
how much time they will have to play with it until it is your turn. Say, “two minutes, then Daddy’s turn.” Then, use a sand timer to provide a visual representation of the two-minute time frame. When the time is up, point to the sand timer, say “it’s my turn” and gently take the bottle. Before you begin your turn, repeat the same process by saying, “two minutes, then Jacob’s turn” and flipping the sand timer over again. While you play with the bottle, your child is learning how to wait – a wonderful bonus skill for any child! When your turn is up, cue your child to express it is his/her turn. This can be done in many ways. You can:
Science Skills: Talk about which items sink to the bottom of the bottle and which ones float to the top. Describe any sounds the materials inside the bottle make. Let your child hold a magnifying glass to examine different items up close.
Sensory-Motor Skills: Encourage your child to roll the bottle on the floor and then
crawl, jump or animal walk (e.g. bear, duck or crab walk) after it. Add heavier items to the bottle, such as marbles, beans, corn, rocks or sand, to provide more weight. Allowing children with extra energy to carry around or hold a weighted bottle can help them both calm and organize their sensory system.
Behavior Development: Use the sensory bottle as a calm down jar. When your child is upset, have him/her shake the bottle and encourage him/her to take deep breaths while watching the contents swirl, slow down and eventually settle back to the bottom.
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