Learn how to make a sensory bottle for pēpi, this fun activity encourages exploration, learning, and creativity and can help to calm pēpi when they are experiencing big emotions.

Why do it?

A sensory bottle can be awesome for pēpi, it encourages learning through exploration, curiosity, problem-solving and creativity. A sensory bottle can also be used to help calm pēpi from their big emotions.

How to do it

  • Find an empty, clear plastic bottle with a lid.
  • Head outside to find some interesting things that will fit in your bottle. Let pēpi decide what interests them – it could be pebbles, interesting shaped , shells or coloured leaves.
  • Fill the bottle with your chosen items, and add ¾ water and ¼ cooking oil. 
  • If you have food colouring and/or glitter you could add these too, but they’re not essential.
  • Screw (and you might glue) the lid on tight and let the sensory bottle work its magic!
  • You might shake the bottle and: 
    • focus on the bottle’s contents, count each object and describe their shapes and colours
    • describe how the rākau and stones float, sink, glide and flip
    • watch the contents settle in the sunlight describing the colours, the shine, the glint and brightness
    • shake the bottle, notice the objects calming and settling and puku breathe to support you and pēpi to calm too.
  • This calming technique can be practised and used to support pēpi when they experience big emotions.

Using more te reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Tahi One
Rua Two
Toru Three
Whā Four
Rima Five
Parauri Brown
Kiwikiwi Grey
Kōwhai Yellow
Karaka Orange
Kōhatu Stone
Kōripo Swirl
Mārū Calm
Hīoioi Shake
Pātara Bottle