Food Coloring in a Container of Hand Sanitizer Gel, April 11, 2020

Tips, Tricks, Modifications and Strategies

Phase I Target: Food Coloring in a Container of Hand Sanitizer Gel

April 11, 2020

Creating materials for students with CVI is always fun for me and I often wish I had more time to be creative.  During these days of self-quarantine, I finally have some time to create all of the materials and books that have been on my, “To Do” list.  I will be posting photos of materials, along with tips, tricks, modifications and strategies regarding materials created in the hope that you too will try your hand at making some unique, child-specific materials for your student or child.  When appropriate, I will offer templates and other materials for you to use, to complete the project as well.

For this first post, I will be sharing my interpretation of an idea from the blog titled, ““While You Are Home: Activities For Children With CVI” by Dr. Christine Roman.  Dr. Roman notes that this visual target could be used with a child in Phase I.  You are encouraged to read Dr. Roman’s blog first, so you will better understand how this target might be used.  You can access this blog at Dr. Roman’s website cviresources and at Paths to Literacy;


Phase I, Activity 1: Food coloring in a container of hand sanitizer gel

Materials needed to make this target:

  • Clean, empty non-breakable bottle with a lid. I really like using empty Voss water bottles.  They come in either plastic or glass (I only use the plastic).  Clean, empty plastic spice containers also work well.
  • Sanitizer gel (or other clear gel-like substance such as mineral oil, clear hair gel or corn syrup).
  • Food coloring or liquid watercolor also works well ( ).
  • A backlit surface such as an APH Lightbox, iPad app (give example) or an LED Light Box Tracer ( )
  • Optional; reflective, sparkling bits that float in the gel

Remove any labels from the outside of the bottle and clean the inside well.  Fill the bottle with sanitizer gel or other clear gel-like substance, to almost the top.  Top off the bottle with food color.  Add some sparkles or other reflective bits.  Place the top back on the bottle and screw it on tight.  Some people recommend using a bit of super glue to permanently keep the lid on.  Place the colorful bottle on top of a lightbox or other light source and roll it slowly.  Alternately, shine a bright (300 lumens or greater) flashlight through the bottle.  Show it to the child; do not talk or tactually distract the child.  Wait until the child notices the visual target.

For alternate instructions and other options for making this visual target, Google “sensory bottle”.  The website I found most helpful was “Preschool Inspirations” at:

Pictured below, a Sensory Bottle made from a Voss plastic water bottle, filled with mineral oil, colored red with liquid watercolor.  I also included in my Sensory Bottle bits of red glitter, red gel shaped hearts, and red, reflective mylar-like shapes.  When the bottle is slowly rolled, the bits float slowly around.  The Sensory Bottle is illuminated as it placed on top of an ultra-thin, portable, LED light box tracer.

Pictured below, a Sensory Bottle standing in front of an AGPtEK Light Box Tracer.


*Please note: One or more of the links noted on this blog are affiliate links.  This simply means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at NO EXTRA cost to you.  As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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