I am seriously addicted to mesmerizing sensory bottles. At one point, I had a calm down jar that I “tested out” for an entire week before I gave it to my class, so I am always thrilled for the next irresistible find. The discovery bottle that I am showing to you today is one of my all-time favorites, and it has that nice slow and gentle flow to it. It’s the kind that I could just watch for hours. Now you all know why I’m a preschool teacher — I just want to stare at discovery bottles all day! I’m a firm believer that every preschool curriculum should include them.
Here’s our alphabet discovery bottle. I must say that the ABCs have never been so calming and relaxing!
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It takes 15 to 20 seconds for the letters to go to the other side of the bottle, and I love the slow somersaults they do as they float upward. We love just flipping it over and over as it calms and soothes.
Here’s what you need to make your own:
A clean empty water bottle. I recommend one that is sturdy with a wide lid such as VOSS plastic water bottle since this is extra heavy for a sensory bottle. I didn’t use a VOSS one this time, and I definitely wish I would have.
Clear(ish) colored corn syrup
Hot Water (just a teeny, tiny bit)
First, put the letter beads into the bottle. Next, add enough corn syrup on top of it that it covers about 80-85% of the inside of the bottle. Add a very slight amount of hot water and shake. Then continue to add corn syrup and water until you get your desired flow.
The ratio I used for my own bottle was about 95% corn syrup and 5% water.
Initially, your bottle will look “streaky” as the corn syrup settles. It can take a few hours to fully blend. I personally like the streaky swirls in the meantime!
While I used big letter lacing beads, most any plastic item would be a good substitute. I love the blend of literacy and science in this particular one because I am always trying to sneak in a love for reading.
This could also be used to help a child learn the letters of his name. A miniature bottle would be perfect to put them in.
Here are some of my other favorites:
Magnetic Discovery Bottle
And this is how we use letter beads in other ways:
Rainbow Sight Word Lacing Busy Bag