We've been into letters around here lately so when I came across some letters at the store, I thought it would be fun to make them into a sensory/calm down bottle. (Haven't heard of "sensory bottles" or "calm down" bottles before? Here is a great article about them. They are so much more than just a fun toy!) Here's how we made this one.
What You'll Need:
Plastic bottle (Voss brand look the nicest)
Clear hand soap
Super glue (or hot glue)
The letters I picked up were "charms" for stringing on a necklace or similar, so I spent a few minutes snapping off the eye holes. You will also want to get the label off your bottle. If there is still some sticky bits left on the bottle you can try goo gone or make a vinegar/baking soda paste.
A note about your bottle. Any plastic bottle will do! When looking around online you will see a lot of people use "Voss". That's because a) they look pretty and b) they have a wide mouth so you can put larger items in them. But yes - any old clear bottle will work!
Put your letters in your bottle and pour in about 1/2 cup of water. You will have to play on the water to soap ratio depending on how heavy your letters are and how quickly you want them to fall etc, but this is what worked for us.
Then fill the rest of the way with soap and give it a shake to mix it up. It will look cloudy at first, and then even after the cloudiness clears up there will still be lots of bubbles, but I have a trick for getting rid of most of those.
If you are satisfied with the viscosity of bottle, set it aside to let all the bubbles rise to the top after a while take the lid off and add a little more soap while also scraping the bubbles off the top until you don't see any more suds. Then add another tiny bit of soap to the point you know it will certainly overflow if screw the cap on... you want it to!
Put your glue around mouth of the bottle (turned out my super glue was dried up so I used hot glue which worked great) and tighten on the cap. Yes - the soap will overflow and make a bit of a mess. You want this, as it will minimize the amount of bubbles in the finished bottle.
Allow the glue to dry, give a (not full force, but reasonable) test twist to ensure the cap won't come off, then hand it over to your kiddo to play with! We quickly found the game of "which letter will land last" a fun one that also encourages letter recognition. Let me know how you play with and use your alphabet soup bottle in the comments below!