Monday, January 14, 2013

Ocean In A Bottle Craft

We explored the depths of the ocean today and one of our activities was to create an "ocean in a bottle".  The children loved filling their bottles with sand, shells, fish, and blue water.  This fun and frugal activity is easily adaptable to many lessons and themes.  In the past I have applied this concept to the Mayflower at Thanksgiving, density of liquids, and properties of waves to name a few lessons. 

Today we focused on oceans for the letter "O". We added a little colored sand, small seashells, and crafted a small school of fish cut from a recycled red Solo cup.  (Wouldn't that have made a nice verse for Toby Keith?)  I let the children add items that were sitting around the house so feel free to get creative! 

It kept the winter blues at bay and we enjoyed a bit of summer fun playing with sand and water.  Who says Nebraskans can't enjoy the ocean in January?  We had a marvelous time watching the surf and sand...




To make an ocean in a bottle, here is what you will need:

  • clear empty bottle with lid (we used 16 oz. and 20 oz.)
  • water
  • blue food coloring
  • vegetable oil
  • "floaters"-  sand, sea shells, plastic fish, etc. (optional)
  • hot glue (optional)
  • funnel (optional)
Here is how you make your ocean in a bottle:


Rinse and remove labels from your bottles.

Use your funnel to add your floatables.

Tint your water using blue food coloring.



Pour the water gently into the bottle.

Add the vegetable oil.  (I like to add quite a bit-  usually I fill 1/3 of the bottle)


Screw on the lid.  I add hot glue to the inside threads to secure the lid nice and tight.  I definitely don't want blue food coloring spilled!

Finally, you are ready to shake and roll your mini ocean.  Watch the waves and objects swirl around the bottle.  It is mesmorizing to watch the oil and water separate.



What items will you add to an ocean in a bottle?  What did you make today?

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