Here's a quick and cheap DIY when you need something to occupy your toddler or preschooler! I saw some sensory stations made to coincide with the classic story We're Going On a Bear Hunt" but knew my little guy would have a huge mess if I made those. Enter the water bottles that just happened to be sitting on my counter! These were a small 8 oz size perfect for little hands to grip.
I used each of the locations mentioned in the story: grass, river, mud, forest, snow storm, and cave, plus a stuffed bear I found at the dollar store.
We originally did this storytime activity with a group of five babies and toddlers. Each time I got to a location, the toddler/mom with that bottle shook it for every one to see.
You could also do this with just your own and practice identifying the contents and sequencing for the story. Mr. G points at these on his shelf all the time, asking to play with them, and of course especially loves this story now!
Make You Own
(6) 8 oz water bottles
"We're Going On a Bear Hunt" book (optional - you could just tell the story, print it here)
Contents (below, feel free to substitute your own!)
Grass: a few snippings from the yard (I actually used our Monkey Grass to get thicker leaves)
River: fill 2/3 with water, add a few drops of blue food coloring, fill the rest with vegetable oil
Mud: fill 2/3 with potting soil plus a little water
Snowstorm: fill 1/2 full with cheap white shaving cream
Cave: gravel or pebbles
Place each of the contents in one bottle. For the liquid ones, I hot glued the lids to prevent any accidents.