Discovery Jars

These discovery jars are my little take on a discovery bottle, sometimes known as a sensory bottle too. They provide a safe way to present small objects to babies and young children as they can get a close up view of things that they would otherwise pop straight into their mouths. They can also provide other sensory experiences like interesting sounds and soothing visual effects.

6 discovery jars with a variety of objects inside

These particular jars appealed to me for many reasons. They are made from plastic so they are safe if they are dropped and it also makes them light to hold. The lid too is clear plastic and this makes it very easy to see what is inside from many angles. They also stack on top of each other, and with a slight twist they lock into place, this aspect makes it especially fun for older children too. 

The jars will be found in the craft storage section of your craft store, I bought these ones at Spotlight.

To secure the loose objects safely inside the jars and to prevent leakage from the containers with liquids I hot glued the lids into place. Using hot glue meant I had to work quickly to twist the lids closed before it cooled. I think next time I might use a silicone sealant from a hardware shop, this will specifically help to keep the liquids from leaking out.

3 month old looking at a discovery jar

When my daughter was just starting to grab and hold objects she loved to hold them close to her face. She would concentrate on what was inside and particularly liked this one full of bright colours.

Tummy time with discovery jars

As she grew stronger and enjoyed exploring from her tummy I would often give her several jars for her to explore like this. This is when she started noticing the differences, gravitating to her favourites and listening to the sounds they made more closely.

Toddler stacking the discovery jars

My toddler loves to stack and crash them and they have held up really well. He loves them just as much as my baby does and it goes to show that they are a great homemade toy for children that will last through years of play. 

In the order of the photo above (from top to bottom) I have rainbow rice, water and plastic star beads, blue water and baby oil, baby oil with pink and gold glitter and lastly water beads. The jar not in this picture has a mixture of small craft materials inside like pom poms, ribbon, straws and foam shapes.

Have you made them before? I would love to hear what you have put inside them or what you think your child would like. For ideas on what you could use this post from Lemon Lime Adventures is very helpful.

Do you think your baby would prefer to touch the materials? Try our treasure basket ideas.
Would you prefer something more interactive? These mobiles are a lot of fun.
Is your baby on the move and looking for a challenge? A sensory runway will provide it for them.

Enjoy playing with your child today,


Picture collage of discovery jars



  1. I can imagine little ones really enjoying these. One of mine would try their hardest to get the lid off though ;-)

  2. These look gorgeous Alison! Love them. Will have to grab some jars next time I'm in spotlight :)


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