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Bird Seed and Pine Cone Sensory Bottle

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Pair nature science with sensory play with this pine cone and bird seed sensory bottle!  This bird seed and pine cone sensory bottle is extremely light weight. It is perfect for a science observation center.  These are such a fun Spring nature craft to do with kids. I also love how it is kind of like a mini rain stick! The noise of the seeds running through the pine cone was the best part for my kids!

pine cone and bird seed sensory bottle


How to Make the Bird Seed and Pine Cone Sensory Bottle

Items Used:

Plastic Voss Water Bottle

Pine Cones

Bird Seed

Super Glue, optional

nature sensory bottle


  1. If using a Voss water bottle, empty the bottle of water and allow the bottle to air dry.
  2. Add 2-3 medium sized pine cones to the sensory bottle. To do this you will want to push the pine cones in with conifers pointing up. If you attempt to push against the natural direction of the conifers they will break off.
  3. After placing pinecones into the sensory bottle, fill the sensory bottle 2/3rds of the way full with bird seed.
  4. Seal with lid and play!

Note: If you are intending to use this sensory bottle with small children seal the lid with super glue before screwing the lid back on. You will need to give the super glue 15 minutes to dry before handing it over to a child.


Make the Sensory Bottle a Lesson

This sensory bottle is not just for play!  Look at all of the different things that can be learned from this sensory bottle.

Pair it with a book!  We love this cute book for young kids: Mrs. Peanuckle’s Bird Alphabet

Learning Objectives:

Sensory – describe the sound the bottle makes, describe the feel of the bottle (light, heavy, etc), describe what you see when you shake the bottle.

Math Skills – counting pine cones, counting types of seeds, identifying shapes of seeds, are the more or less of certain items? Sort pine cones by size before adding them to the sensory bottle.

Science Skills – identify the types of seeds inside and what types of bird would eat the chosen seeds. Over time watch how the pine cones react to the environment (they will close up when the air is dry and open up when there is moisture in the air). Experiment with different types of seeds – do they make a different sound? Go on a nature walk for the pine cones.

Social Skills – take turns sharing the bottle. Practice words like my turn, your turn, go, and stop.

Fine Motor – getting the pine cones in is a BIG challenge for little kids. Not only will this challenge their fine motor muscles, it is also an excellent chance to problem solve and discuss what happens to the pine cone if they attempt to put the pine cone into the bottle facing the incorrect way. Challenge a child’s pincer skills even further by having them pick up and add to the bottle any conifer pieces and bird seed that has fallen out while putting the bottle together – these pieces are so tiny that they will have to use those pincer skills!

Language Skills – have kids use descriptive language to explain what the pine cones look like, what differentiates the bird seeds, and what they are experiencing. Practice pragmatic language for rules on how to use the sensory bottle and how to share the sensory bottle (informing, demanding, stating, and requesting).


See more sensory play ideas from site:

Rainbow Tapioca Sensory Play
Homemade Cloud Dough
Island Sensory Play
How to Make Oobleck

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