Thursday, March 31, 2011

Recycle, Science, and Oooooohhhhh!

I've seen a lot about sensory bottles lately.  When making them, there are all different types to choose from.  A cold, rainy day led us to braking into the recycling bin to make our own using oil, water, and some treasures. 

 First I gave him a small cup of treasures to put into the bottle (fine motor skills at work!)

 Then we added water.  I helped to hold the funnel steady, but I let him do the pouring (independence skills). 

 He made sure he got every drop!  We added a bit more water until the bottle was about 3/4 full. 

 Then my son added the food coloring.  He chose blue, which was unplanned perfection.  The blue water + yellow oil= green (or teal in our case)!

 Thank you Costco for the giant bottle of oil!

 Next my son poured the oil into the bottle.

 He could clearly see the oil and water layering rather then mixing. 

 We hot glued the lid. 

Let the mixing begin!

The oil makes a lava lamp-type effect if you shake it gently and the treasures swirl about.

Shake it harder and the oil and water mix.  The color changes as well.  Ours is more teal then green due to the amount of blue dye in the water.  

Grandma and Grandpa were visiting so we had more people to share our experiment with!

Additional Sensory Bottle Ideas:
  1. Activity and Sensory Bottles for Young Children: Child Care Lounge (extensive list!)
  2. Rainbow Play and Getting Out of the Way... Teach Preschool
  3. Kids Crafts Sensory Bottles:
Do you have any additional ideas?  Share in the comment section!


  1. Very cool! I love this idea and can't wait to try it with my 3 year old! Do you have any suggestions on what kinds of little treasures to put in the bottle at the beginning?

  2. @Stacey We used little confetti treasures. You can buy a decent sized bag of them at Wal-mart. I'm sure craft stores carry them too. The confetti from Wal-mart are all random shapes but if you go to a craft store or party store, you could buy some in specific shapes. You can also use little foam pieces, but they will all float to the top.

  3. These look great. I was going to make some just using water and glitter, but the oil and food colouring, makes a great effect.
    Thanks for ideas.

  4. Super cool! I think my little one would love this!


  5. Fabulous! Next time stick in an alka seltzer and it will work as a lava lamp too! Love it. Thanks linking to science sparks!



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