Our ROOM Member of the Month, Kayla, shares a simple fall sensory bottles activity with us!
Your kids will love making these for any season, holiday or theme you might have in mind.
Kayla is a special education teacher and mom of a 4 year old and 22 month old. She joined The Activity Room because she wanted to have meaningful, quality time with her kids.
At first Kayla did activities just with her older son and let the baby just play. But then she began to think ahead and plan for what her youngest could get out of the activity too.
“It’s allowed me to spend meaningful time with my kids. And it’s allowed me to spend time with like different age groups. My son is four, but I have a 22 month old. We can do the same activity, but we just find ways to make it like more advanced or bring it down to the baby’s level. So I do something with them together.”
Kayla took the time to share one some of her tips with us.
She also shared her fall sensory bottles activity at the bottom of this page.
Tips for Doing Activities with Both a Toddler and Preschooler
The biggest tip for somebody who has a preschooler and a toddler is to plan ahead to figure out how can you modify it for the little one. Because you want to include the little one, too.
You can do it easily if you’re willing to spend a little bit of time planning. And thinking, “Okay, well, what is it that the baby is going to get out of it?” And “what is it that the older kids getting to get out of it?”
Have your stuff ready ahead of time. Put the supplies out the night before. Just doing that helps a lot. “Because when I’m getting up at six in the morning, I’m not wanting to go down to the craft room and and pull things out. Knowing what I’m going to do is really important.
“I just leave it on the kitchen counter… definitely knowing what you’re going to do, planning ahead, having your supplies out. So you see them too, they’re visibly there. You remind yourself.”
Let Go of Expectations
Another tip for activities is to learn to be a little bit more hands-off and let them do their own thing.
“I’m a little bit like neurotic sometimes about messes. I want something to come out nice. Or I think, ‘you know, this is not the way that I want to do it.’ But I’ve had to learn how to be a little bit less like that.”
If you want them to be invested, you have to let go of whatever your expectations are.
Sometimes, they just want to play and they don’t want to make what you want to make. So you’ve got to just let them go.
Don’t Force it
Sometimes they just don’t want to do an activity… and knowing that it’s something that they’re not really into… just let them go and they’ll come back.
If you force them too much… They’re not going to be that into it.
For more tips on doing activities with multiple kids check out 7 Tips for Toddler Activities While You’re Busy With the Big Kids
Kayla’s Favorite Parts About The Activity Room
Kayla feels like she has a toolkit now to pull from after doing activities with us for so long now.
“At first I thought, I’ll just check them off… we’ll just do the calendar and we’ll check off each one as we go throughout the month. I never thought that we would be going back to them so often with the amount of choices but there’s so many that we come back to… They’re just things that we’ll rely on.“
“When we’re like, ‘Okay, what what can we pull out?’ That’s been really helpful for me to have like a toolkit to pull from.”
Add Kayla’s Fall Sensory Bottles activity to your own toolkit today. Change up the contents of the bottle to suit any season, holiday or theme! It’s at the end of this post.
The Members only Facebook group has been a huge support.
“I love having the group to chat with. I think that the people that are involved in there are so supportive and so kind, and thoughtful.”
It’s nice to be able to see what other people are doing every day. I kind of watch them and do stuff after. And I get my best ideas from the people that have already done the activities, who have kind of modified it whatever way.
I think having that group is the biggest part of what has kept me involved and invested.”
“I just want to share that I think that The Activity Room is amazing.
It’s been so helpful for my family and I’m so lucky that I’ve discovered it and that you guys are available for us.”
Let’s Meet Kayla
How many kids do you have and how old are they?
2 boys (4 and 22 months), twins on the way
Why do you love doing activities with your kids?
To spend meaningful time with them
How long have you been in The Activity Room?
What is your favorite activity you’ve done in The Activity Room?
Lemon sensory bin
Make sure you don’t miss out on Kayla’s Fall Sensory Bottle activity she shares with us at the end of this post!
What’s your favorite thing to do with your kids when you get a few moments?
Music and playdough
What’s your best tip for doing activities with your kids?
Have your supplies ready to go and start the activity first. My kids are more curious to see what I’m doing and will usually join in, rather than have them start
If you were to tell a friend about The Activity Room, what would you say to them?
The activity room is magical. So many great memories have come from it. I feel like the calendar ideas turn into more and more activities if you go with the flow.
For example, we started with the drawing under the table activity and then we built a fort, read books and had snack under the kitchen table. My four year old loved having his little space and brought his toys under there. I found a drawing attached to the chair the other day (weeks after the activity) and chuckled.
Share your favorite quote
“Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
Fall Sensory Bottles for Kids:
Here Kayla shares with us one of her own activities. Try these at home. The kids will love them!
Supplies Needed to Make Your Own Fall Sensory Bottles:
- Clear plastic bottles (specific sensory bottles can be found on line)
- Corn syrup
- Assorted fall supplies (fake leaves, ribbon etc.)
- Or go on a nature walk and collect fall items like acorns and leaves
How to Make Fall Sensory Bottles with Your Kids
First fill the bottle with water and a small amount of corn syrup.
We used glass bottles but you can use any empty clear bottle you may have in your recycle bin. (Just make sure the opening is big enough to fit your gathered supplies into it.)
Have children cut up ribbon or yarn if you are using some.
Add collected supplies or supplies found on a nature walk to the water bottle.
Let your little ones pick out what they want to add and let them drop it in themselves.
This is great fine motor practice and they will love being involved in the process!
Hot glue water bottle top on if you are concerned your kids may play around with it. We did.
Shake and enjoy!
My 4 year old loved exploring all of the fall supplies and deciding what he wanted to add to his sensory bottle.
He felt like he had some ownership over it because I gave him a variety of materials to choose from.
We did not try this ourselves but I wonder if we could somehow make these fall sensory bottles glow in the dark somehow for Halloween?
Maybe you can figure out a way and let us know in the comments!
Kids don’t like to think they are learning, they just want to play.
The activity room has been really helpful for my family.
As a teacher, I recognize the importance of teaching my boys early reading and math skills.
However, the activity room allows me to blend that all in to age appropriate activities.
Just like you can do with this sensory bottle activity for Fall. Change it up for any learning theme you are working on.
I never sit down and say we are going to do workbook pages or “school” stuff.
My older boy asks for an “activity” each day and looks forward to the time we will spend together. I am not scaring him away with to much structured learning.
One big benefit to being part of this group is that members share how they modified an activity, twisted it up with other supplies or did something different that day.
I really enjoy the kindness and support that others share.
I feel part of a village of parents, grandparents and other caregivers who share a similar idea that meaningful time with their kiddos is number one.
Try These Fall Sensory Bottles at Home and Share with Us!
These sensory bottles can be adapted for any season or learning activity not just fall.
Share with us how you did them!