Octopus Arms DIY Sensory Bottle

The blue. ringed. octopus. One of our top 10 most favorite animals for sure — and we’re so obsessed that we made a DIY sensory discovery bottle that looks like the blue ringed octopus!

FYI – we made this sensory bottle to use during classroom visits, not really for an activity to make with kids. It’s definitely more suited for adults or young adults to do most of the project due to the difficult cutting and type of glue used (and it takes multiple days due to drying time). Of course, you are the judge of what you feel comfortable having your kids participate in! For our other sensory bottles to do with kids, check out this link.

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We can’t get enough of how COOL the octopus is!

A soft-bodied creature with no skeleton, it can squeeze into small openings, change skin color & texture, and figure out puzzles.

Photo by Pia on Pexels.com

We love octopuses so much that we’ve included them in both of our Zale’s Tales books!

Zale’s Tales: The Quest for the Magic Pearl
Zale’s Tales: The Ocean Seeker

We’re crazy about sharing the ocean love! Check out our Amazon author page here too – lots more ocean fun and all of our children’s books geared for ages 4-8 🙂

Now, one octopus in particular has a deadly bite, the blue-ringed octopus. It’s found in tide pools and coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

It’s venomous enough to kill 26 humans. Yikes! Take a look:

And here’s a little more about the blue-ringed octopus:

Now for the craft!

How to make a blue-ringed octopus arms sensory bottle

You’ll need:

  • sensory bottle (we used this one from Michaels)
  • yellow pool noodle
  • scissors
  • paper plate or other work surface for painting
  • foam pouncers (we used 1 smaller than the other, but both small)
  • cobalt blue acrylic craft paint
  • electric metallic blue acrylic craft paint
  • sharpie marker (optional)
  • ring-shaped beads
  • E6000 glue
  • clear hair gel (find at the dollar store)
  • skewer
  • paper towel for messes
  • (also shown – glow-in-the-dark paint – honestly it really didn’t glow…bummer)

Why no glitter? We prefer not using it, as it easily gets into the environment — especially when washed down the drain or used outside — and can be mistaken for food by animals and causes lots of trouble for them and the food web.

1. Cut the pool noodle into shapes resembling octopus arms. Here’s how we tackled it:

It takes a little bit of shaping and using the scissors to shave off excess foam, but keep going until you’re happy with it! Make sure that the tentacles are small enough to fit comfortably in the sensory bottle.

2. Use the large foam pouncer with the cobalt blue paint to make dots on the top side of the arms. You may want to set a drying area up with parchment paper.

Then, use the smallest foam pouncer over the larger dots using the electric metallic blue paint. (We mixed in a little glow-in-the-dark paint here, but it really didn’t glow.)

Let it dry, probably overnight is best. We used the sharpie to make a dot on the inside of a few of the spots to make it look more realistic. Yes, we’re octopus nerds.

3. Once dry, glue the ring-shaped beads on the underside of the arms. (You may want to wear gloves since it’s hard not to get it on your fingers!)

4. Follow the directions on the glue for how long it needs to dry (at least a day). Once dry, use the skewer to guide the octopus arms into the sensory bottle.

5. Add hair gel to the top!

6. Put the lid on the bottle. (You may want to glue/tape it on to prevent it from being opened or spilled.)

Want to make it spooky for Halloween? Check out our free printable apothecary labels!

For even more ocean-themed sensory bottles, check out:

Live porpoisefully, The Taylors

Disclaimer: All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision. Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies). Observe caution and safety at all times. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.

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