My favorite discovery bottles

This is an easy and safe way to explore principles of science without mess or danger of ingesting small parts.


From left: static electricity bottle, magnetic bottle, current bottle

I found these ideas from this great website of discovery bottles

To make:

Static electricity bottle

tissue paper

Break up the styrofoam into small pieces and add to the bottle
Cut out pieces of tissue paper into shapes and add to bottle
Glue the lid on

Rub the bottle on to the carpet, your hair or a sweater and observe. What happens?

Magnetic bottle

Sand or rice (as much or as little as you want).

variety of magnetic items (what’s in ours: a screw, a cup hook, a paper clip, a staple, a bunch of small metal balls we found after a cheap egg maraca got broken)

variety of non-magnetic items (what’s in ours: a dime,a button,a foam sticker)

Magnet wand (magnet encased in plastic wand for safety) or donut shaped magnet tied onto a string that you tie onto the bottle neck (not recommended for little tikes).

Place sand, magnetic and non-magnetic items into the bottle and glue shut.
Use the magnet wand to slide across the bottle and observe what happens when you try to pick up items.

Current bottle

Perlescent Powder (found in the soap-making section of Michael’s craft store)
Food coloring (we like blue)

Fill the bottle with water, add a drop of food coloring (if you use the blue you might even coloring you water separately in a larger container, adding more water until you find the shade you want.)

Glue on the lid (we duct taped ours because I ran out of superglue).

Observe the magic of rheoscopic (current showing) fluids.

What happens?

This is a great way to study the currents of oceans.


Here’s others we’ve made:


From left – purple food coloring and corn syrup; green food coloring, corn syrup and various sequins; yellow food coloring, water, soap, sequins; and an ocean in a bottle – blue food coloring, water, and baby oil; various buttons; i-spy bottle – rice and small toys and beads.

Links for more discovery bottle ideas Discovery bottles 1 Discovery bottles 2

This entry was posted in science, sensory, Toddler/Preschooler and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to My favorite discovery bottles

  1. Pingback: Activities for Children Under Two | Be A Fun Mum

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