Glow in the Dark Perler Bead Sensory Bottle


If you’re a fan of crafting with Perler Beads you know that one of the biggest appeals of them is their ability to transform into anything.   If you want to make a lightsaber, you make a Perler Bead lightsaber.  When you want to make a Pokeball, you can transform them into Pokeball earbud holders. The possibilities are limitless.  One thing you cannot do though, is allow your toddlers to create with them. They are way too small and a choking hazard.  BUT you can let your toddler explore the beauty of Perler Beads by making them a Glow in the dark Perler Bead sensory bottle.  

Perler Bead sensory bottle

Easy to make Perler Bead sensory bottle that glows in the dark!

Sensory bottles are great toys for toddlers because they can “play” with smaller items without being allowed to actually handle the smaller items. Perler Beads are a perfect example of this. Perler Beads are tiny, no parent in their right mind would give them to their toddler and let them play with them.   BUT when contained in a sealed sensory bottle they can watch the beads float through out the bottle and see all the amazing colors.   If a toddler shakes them, the Perler Beads don’t move very fast, but little bubbles of air form throughout the toy to further entertain them. 

We actually made this Perler Bead sensory bottle on accident.  While the kids and I were making sensory bottles over spring break it was one of our fails.   I wanted to put little Perler Bead Pacman ghosts in it.  I imagined them floating from top to bottom like the dice do in our Dungeons and Dragons sensory bottle.  Eh, it didn’t really have the effect that I wanted.  Instead of scrapping the whole idea of a Perler Bead sensory bottle Wonder Boy suggested we JUST have Perler Beads in it.  So that’s what we did, and it came out pretty darn cool.  

Perler Bead Sensory bottle

Even when it’s not glowing in the night, this makes a great sensory bottle!

Supplies needed for glow in the dark Perler Bead Sensory Bottle

  • Voss water bottle (or any other smooth surface bottle)
  • Perler Beads
  • Clear liquid hand soap
  • Clear liquid dish soap
  • Water
  • Super Glue (if you want to seal it so toddlers can play with it)

We used about half normal and half glow in the dark Perler Beads.

I found that this was a great use of those extra Perler Beads.   If you have some bead colors that you are almost out of throw them in. We had some odd beads in green and blue so that is what I used.  

As an added bonus I threw in the rest of our translucent yellow and green beads.   Those beads in combination with the glow in the dark beads really make it bright under a blacklight.  

Glow in the dark discovery bottle

You can see all the translucent and glow in the dark beads glowing under a black light on this sensory bottle

You can, of course, choose any colors of Perler Beads.  We used about a quarter of a cup of beads, but there really isn’t a specific amount you should use.  You can add more or even take some out after your sensory bottle is complete if you aren’t happy with the color combination.  

One last note on the supplies needed.   The labels peel off pretty easily on most water bottles.   If you find yourself with some sticky residue left on the bottle just use some Goo Gone.   It’s amazing and will remove the goo off of anything.   

Ok, let’s make it!

Instructions for Glow in the dark Perler Bead Sensory Bottle

This is so easy to make, you’ll have it complete in less than 5 minutes.  

First put about a quarter a cup of Perler Beads in the bottle.  Use a funnel if you have one, they will go in the bottle so much easier.   We didn’t have a funnel, so we did it by hand.   Even putting them in by hand, it still took us less than 5 minutes.  

Now you can fill the bottle about halfway with liquid hand soap.   Finally, add liquid dish soap until it is about 2 inches from the top.  Leave about an inch of the top empty.   Fill those last 2 inches with water.  

Confession:  Originally I didn’t intend to add any water to this sensory bottle, but it was soooooo slow moving.   It was over 7 minutes for the beads to make it from the bottom to the top. Nobody has time for that.   Once I added the 2 inches of water the time went down to 2 minutes.  MUCH better for my kids’ attention span.  All that being said, you can play around with your bottle to get an ideal velocity for your needs.  

Finally, screw on the lid and shake that baby like crazy to mix the soaps, water, and Perler Beads.  

After you’ve first shaken it the bottle will look like a crazy bubbly mess.    You can check out the image below to see what I mean.   No worries though those bubbles will eventually go away and the liquid will be clear.  

Perler Bead sensory bottle

When shaken the bottle looks all bubbly, but it will settle down eventually and be clear

Our glow in the dark Perler Bead sensory bottle has been shaken several times since we made it a couple of weeks ago, and it always comes back to clear.  

Tips for making a Perler Bead sensory bottle

  • If you want more perler beads, add them.  To make the beads to flow faster, add more hand soap.   If you want to slow the beads down add dish soap.  All you have to do is empty out some of the contents
  • If you used too many beads and want to get some out of the bottle use a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon.  Ours fit in perfectly our Voss water bottle.     
  • Glue your lid shut with superglue if you want to let your toddler explore this sensory bottle.   Perler Beads are small and would be a choking hazard if they got them out of the bottle.  
  • If you use glow in the dark beads, like I did, make sure the bottle is upside down in the light before looking at them in the dark.   The beads need to absorb light for them to glow. The pictures I took are under a black light, so they won’t be as vibrant.   BUT they still glow.  

I hope you get a chance to make this fun and easy Perler Bead sensory bottle.   Let me know how it comes out in the comments.  

Glow in the dark sensory bottle

Although this photo was taken under a blacklight, this sensory bottle does glow just in the dark!

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