Tickle Sticks and Sensory Bottles

I wish I were crafty.  I dream about being crafty and making wonderful, beautiful, amazing things that people will oooohhh and aaahhh over.  But, unfortunately, I can't sew, knit, crochet, make jewelry, or do any of that really crafty stuff.  Don't get me wrong, I experiment with crafts, but usually super easy ones that my 8 year old nephew could pull off.  That's a compliment, Landon.
This past weekend I experimented with a few crafts for Luke.  First, I saw tickle sticks on one of the blogs I follow and thought they were easy enough for me.  I made a trip to Hobby Lobby to pick up some dowels and feathers.  That, plus some yarn from home, was all I needed to make these sweet little toys.  All I did was put feathers on the end of the dowel and wrap yarn around them to keep the feathers in place.  Eeeeeasy.
The next craft I made came from many different blogs.  These are everywhere.  Sensory bottles.  I made two wave bottles with water, oil, and food coloring.  I filled the bottle two-thirds the way full with water and then finished with oil.  I added a few drops of food coloring and taaaaadaaaa...a wave sensory bottle!  You can put some many things in these bottles.  Hair gel, marbles, pom poms, confetti, etc.  The possibilities are endless and like I said...super easy. I forgot to mention, I hot glued the caps on so they won't fall off.  You can also put tape on the outside to make sure they don't come off.
Now, why did I make these for Luke?  Both the tickle sticks and sensory bottles are used for sensory exploration.  Kids received information through their senses, so sensory exploration is a perfect tool to help children discover their world.  When using the tickle sticks, I run the feathers along his face and bare toes.  He didn't know what to think of this at first, but now he smiles with delight when Kevin or I do it.  As Luke gets a little older I would like to make more tickle sticks with grass on the end, beads, flowers, etc.  You can pretty much put anything on the end of them.  At this point, I mainly just put the sensory bottles in front of Luke and continually turn them upside down.  He seems fascinated by them and they keep his attention for a good 30 seconds.  Impressive.
My hope is that these two little crafts will be played with for a long time.  I'm sure when Luke gets a bit older and is able to play with the bottles and tickle sticks himself, they will have to be remade.  That's definitely okay, because when that time comes around, I'm sure Luke will have reached my level of craftiness and be able to make them himself.


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