Cheap Baby Sensory Bottle Toy

Every mama knows that the best toys are the ones that aren’t really toys. It’s very easy to figure this out when you have your baby open their Christmas presents and they could care less about what’s inside…they just want the ribbon.

I saw some cool baby sensory bottles on Pinterest and I thought, “I can do that!” But when I started looking at the instructions and the ingredients I realized I needed a shopping list of items to make the bottles that I had seen.


Determined to make it work and create my own frugal baby sensory toy. I pulled an old waterbottle out of the pantry that I had picked up at a surplus store for $0.50, opened it up, poured in the only crafty thing I had that would fit, pony beads, and superglued the lid back on. (I also removed all the stickers from the outside of the bottle)

I let it dry overnight and then gave it to my little guy to play with in the morning. He didn’t care that it wasn’t full of glitter, or fancy sequins, or special shiny beads. It was pretty, it moved when he rolled it on the floor, and it keeps him occupied! All for just over $0.50!


You can make these too. Just grab some kind of hard plastic water bottle (like a pop bottle or something similarly sized), add in whatever hard plastic crafty things you have on hand, fill with water, superglue or hot glue the lid on and it’s ready to go!

Someday I might have a good time at the Dollar Store and pick up a few other crafty things that I could pour in another bottle but for now, this version works just fine!

Another fun cheap toddler project is making tambourines with paper plates, and check out all the other frugal crafts we have posted!

What “not a toy” things have you made into fun toys for your little one?

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  1. So cute! My son loves the cheapest toys best. Give him a piece of paper and he’s happy for at least 20 minutes 🙂

  2. Take an empty parmesan cheese container, clean well and remove labels. Cut straws to fit in the container.

    My little one thinks this is the coolest game ever–she dumps the straws out through the big opening and then puts them back in one by one through the little holes 🙂 It is greaet for fine motor skills!

  3. One my kids loved was a 20oz water bottle emptied and dried, filled 3/4 the way with rice and glued shut. They loved to shake them!

  4. When my daughter (now 16) was a baby we put a penny in an empty pop bottle, closed the cap very tightly, and let her shake away! She loved it! Probably one of her favorite toys! Quite honestly, I didn’t even think about gluing the cap shut. By the time she would have been strong enough to open the cap she had outgrown the toy lol!

    I am with you – never buy toys and clothes new! One Christmas we were so broke I took my daughter to the secondhand store and bought several toys for her (and hid them from her in the stroller!) – easy to do since she was one year old and easy to fool back then lol. She loved the toys and we didn’t spend much on them!

  5. How to make Rheoscopic “current showing” fluid.

    Rheoscopic fluid contains small plate like particles (materials that fracture along the basal plane work best) that float along the fluid lines of the liquid as it is disturbed. It is a neat demonstration of Fluid Mechanics for the youngsters.

    Mica (Golden Mica works well)
    Food coloring

    Mica can be gained at the dollar store in many types of eye shadow. Read the ingredients to see if the eye shadow has mica in it.

    Fill the bottle close to full with water and foodcoloring until the desired color is achieved. Add roughly 1/8 – 1 tablespoon of mica containing eyeshadow ( a little goes a long way). Add a drop or two of soap to break the surface tension of the water (sugar also works). Seal the lid with hot glue…ect. Enjoy!

  6. My daughter loved the Quaker Oats man … rolled the round box around for hours. Now that I read this, I realize I could have put something inside that would make noise and glued the lid shut.