I love giving my kids new and different sensory experiences. We do lots of crafts and activities with sensory aspects. And they love exploring in sensory bins.
But what’s better is to incorporate learning into their sensory explorations. Including the senses in their learning really helps to solidify information in their brains.
Like with my shape and color sensory bins, this oil and water sensory bag helps to solidify educational concepts while they play and explore.
How to Make an Oil and Water Sensory Bag for Science Fun
What’s great about sensory bags is they are so, so, so simple to put together. AND they are completely mess free.
That means you can take them on the go, in the waiting room, at restaurants, and you can give them to small children who might otherwise try to put sensory objects into their mouths
To make this Oil and Water Sensory Bag, you will need:
Liquid food coloring
Since this sensory bag is full of liquid, you really want to reduce the risk of bursting. Freezer bags can had weak corners and dripping can happen with the smallest of holes. So the first thing you want to do is tape up the 3 closed sides of your bag with tape.
Place the tape on half of the bag and fold it over to the other side. I suggest doing the sides first and then the bottom.
Once your tape is in place, it’s time to put the bag together.
Start with your baby oil. I don’t measure, but I probably used about 1/4 of a cup of oil.
Then drip in some of your food coloring.
Then add some water. About 1/4 of a cup of water too.
Seal the bag, pushing out most of the air. I do leave a small pocket of air in this sensory bag- but not enough that it could potentially pop.
Tape up the open edge of the bag and it’s ready to play!
How to Use the Oil and Water Sensory Bag
For babies: Tape the bag to a low spot on the wall.
This is a great activity for babies who are just learning to sit. It gives them something to look at while they sit, strengthening those core muscles.
Place a Boppy pillow behind them to support and catch them if they fall.
For toddlers: Just let them play! Place the bag on the table and let them squish and shake and explore.
Talk about what they see- how the bubbles form and burst. Let them break large bubbles into smaller ones with their fingers.
For Preschoolers and Up: Let them play and explore like toddlers, but add more discussion.
Can they shake the bag and get the oil and water to mix? Why not?
What happens if you leave it alone. Why does the oil rise to the top of the water? Bring in terms like density and polarity.
If you liked this sensory bag, check out these 9 Stimulating Sensory Bags to make as well!
I made these sensory bags the kids and I loved them but on the second day they leaked out of the flat part of the bags made them a second time double bagged then same thing happened 😪
I tape all 4 sides then use clear contact paper over the entire bag and enough to adhere the bag to the table, wall, or window.
baby oil is a hydrocarbon — just like gasoline, motor oil, hair oil, lighter fluid etc and can be fatal if it gets into a person’s lungs when ingested. Which makes me nervous if the bag breaks. Has anyone tried vegetable oil instead? Or does it not work as well? I may experiment soon
I have done bottles with veg. oil and water and it worked fine, assuming the same would work in the bag and is what i plan to do as well.
Is there someplace to buy thicker bags, at a cheap price? I searched ebay and amazon for 6 ml thick plastic bags and they are not too expensive.
Use laminate pockets seal edges with hair straighteners
Awesome Ideal Elaine
Hey my food coloring mixed with the water instead of oil? I put oil in first then food coloring then water and the water turned green.
I think I’ll give this a whirl with a Food Saver bag. They crimp closed with a heat strip.
What about using mineral oil? Are there concerns with that? I know it is food safe and is what I use to oil my wooden cutting boards, so I’d think it would work for this. And…it’s clear like baby oil.
I used vegetable oil but because the it’s a golden colour, it doesn’t look as good as it does with baby oil. I added little plastic flat fish shapes and my food colour is blue so its still an under sea type bag.