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DIY Sensory Blocks

My little one loves things that make noise when she shakes or bangs them. So this idea I found on the A Crafty Living Instagram account seemed like the perfect DIY toy for me to make for her. Olivia used plastic specimen jars with screw on lids like these. I was all set to order some when I remembered the growing pile of used baby food containers I’ve been collecting from my daycare baby’s lunches. Add some rattly materials from around the house and this project ended up costing $0.


To make your own you will need:

  • Plastic containers small enough for little hands to hold
  • Small objects that will make a variety of sounds when shaken
  • Strong glue


This was a pretty straight forward project. I went around the house and through my arts and crafts supplies and found a variety of small items I didn’t mind no longer having access to. Some ideas include: googly eyes, buttons, bouncy balls, coins, polished rocks, silly bandz (remember when all the kids had to have these?), dried beans, jingle bells. I tried to find items in a variety of sizes and materials to make a wide range of sounds when she shakes them as well as providing visual stimulation. I had enough to fill 15 containers. I removed all the labels, washed them out, and made sure they were completely dry.


(You may notice there’s only 10 pictured here. I added five more after she enjoyed them so much and I found some tiny jingle bells at LIDL I just couldn’t resist. So it did end up costing $.79 after all.)


Then I glued the lids on and let them dry with a book on top to make sure the lids were on tight before I gave them to her. They were pretty much an instant hit! She loves to shake them and listen to the different sounds and to knock them over just as fast as her daddy or I can stack them up.

I posted a video on Facebook and a former college professor of mine described them as a “perfect example of freely chosen and personally directed play.” So there you go!

If you try them I hope your little ones enjoy them as much as my little miss!

All the best,


PS, the amazon links are affiliate links.