Simple child made discovery bottles

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on May 4, 2014

in Discovery Bottles, Kid-made discovery Bottles

Kid-Made Discovery Bottles

I love to keep a broad selection of discovery bottles in my outdoor classroom. They add color to the room and they naturally invite my students to pick them up for play and exploration. My students enjoy making their own discovery bottles too only their version is a little more simple than the ones they find sitting around the window sill of my outdoor classroom…

Kid made discovery bottles by Teach Preschool.jpg

I collect a lot of different shapes and sizes of clear plastic bottles all throughout the school year. I keep them in large plastic ziplock bags by type or size so when I need a set, I can easily find a matching set with lids ready to go…

Kid made discovery bottles by Teach Preschool

Some of the bottles I collect require me to remove the sticky residue off the bottle left by the label and others I collect have a nice label that slips right off the bottle. So naturally, I pay attention to which kinds of bottle I collect because taking the sticky residue off lots of bottles takes time and can be a pain to deal with. The bottles shown above and below still had some sticky left along one side of them so my students thought it was pretty cool to stick the bottles together! But usually, I take the time to remove all the sticky…

Kid made discovery bottles by Teach Preschool

Once I have a set of bottles (enough for each child to have one of his or her own) then I set them out for the children to make their own discovery bottles along with the supplies they will need…

Kid made discovery bottles by Teach Preschool

The two types of discovery bottles I am sharing today include a yarn discovery bottle and a bug discovery bottle…

Kid made discovery bottles by Teach Preschool

In both cases, the focus for my students was on the process of filling their bottles. For the yarn discovery bottle, the children had to select the colors of yarn they liked, cut it into a variety of lengths, and drop it down into the bottles until they had the amount of yarn they desired for their bottles…

Kid made discovery bottles by Teach Preschool

For the bug discovery bottle, I set out lots of bugs from the Dollar store. The children were invited to choose one or two of their favorite bugs from around the classroom and drop them into a bottle.  The challenge was to squeeze the bugs so they would fit into the skinny opening of the bottle. There was some trial and error in the process as not every bug was squeezable enough to fit into the bottles so the children had to keep looking until they could find bugs that would work…

Kid made discovery bottles by Teach Preschool

In every discovery bottle we make, the children spend time making choices about the items they will add to their discovery bottles or the amount of items they will add. They also use fine motor skills to put the items in their bottles and have to follow a few steps to complete their discovery bottles…

Kid made discovery bottles by Teach Preschool

For almost every discovery bottle the children make, they complete their bottles by adding water to them.  In our outdoor classroom, fresh water is available in a bucket for the children to fill up their bottles. In our indoor classroom, the children simply go to the sink and fill their bottles up with water..

Kid made discovery bottles by Teach Preschool

My students love making their own discovery bottles even if all we use is water to complete them. I save the more elaborate discovery bottles that have oil and food color and all the other more messy ingredients either for a special discovery bottle project or for the bottles I make and keep around the classroom…

Kid made discovery bottles by Teach Preschool

Here are the classroom bug discovery bottles that I made with 3/4 baby oil, 1/4 colored water, and a few bugs. The lids are hot glued in place so the bottles can’t be opened.  I do not glue the lids on our kid-made water-filled discovery bottles…

Kid made discovery bottles by Teach Preschool.jpg

In the end, the children spend time looking through their bottles and noticing the small details about the items they put in them and how the items move in the water. The process involves a variety of skills from pouring water into a small opening, squeezing objects to fit into the bottles, and making decisions about what to put in the bottles. The process is somewhat an expression of art and science as the children create something beautiful while at the same time explore the flow of their objects in the water…

Kid made discovery bottles by Teach Preschool

So there is my very long explanation of a very simple child-made discovery bottle. Gather your bottles, a variety of materials (can be small toys or even items from nature) that the children can cut, squeeze, or somehow else fit inside them, and let the children add water!

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Leave a Comment

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ines May 4, 2014 at 12:07 pm

He Deborah ,
Where do you find those discovery bottles those that look like pumpkins ?
Thank you!
Ines

Reply

2 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 5, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Hi Ines,
My grocery store carries them “Marsh”!

Reply

3 Jana May 6, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Hi Deborah
Thank you for the amazing site. Tomorrow we have to try these discovery boottles. Can this manual and the other post with small adjustments on my blog? She said I would have your site as a source. Use my photos. Thank you very much Jana
PS: I apologize for using the compiler translate English because English can not.

Reply

4 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 12, 2014 at 1:08 am

Yes you may:)

Reply

5 Laura May 13, 2014 at 11:21 am

Hi Deborah. I am a Spanish teacher that just discovered your blog. I don’t know if I should cry for no doing before or be happy for discovered now hahaha. I have a lot of questions that I don’t know if you have any post answering all this questions. When is time to go to do the activities, can the children choose what they want to do in this moment or you say where they have to go? If in one activity only are space for example for two children, how do you decide who can go there? If one child finish this activity , can change to other activity or what happen?
In your class you have children with different ages. All activities are for all them or are there any special activity depending of the age?.
How much time are the activities avaliable for the children, one day, one week…depending of the activity?
I think I haven’t got more questions for the moment. Thank you so much and you know, but your blog is the most amazing preschool blog I’ve ever seen.
And sorry forr my English but I’m still learning hahaha. XX, Laura

Reply

6 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 13, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Hi Laura,

When is time to go to do the activities, can the children choose what they want to do in this moment or you say where they have to go?

Answer – We have a set time of day in the indoor classroom and then again in the outdoor classroom for what I call open centers. The children are free to explore all the centers and activities we have out on the table during that time. For us, each open center time runs about 45 minutes to 1 hour long (we are only in school three hours). The children can choose whatever they wish to do during this time. We have things out on the tables and baskets of things in our shelves that the children can choose from. At the beginning of the school year, we teach the children how to take their time and explore the centers and how to take care of them. The children naturally work out any issues that come up over time and our threes through fives do a remarkable job regulating their own time and use of each center.

If in one activity only are space for example for two children, how do you decide who can go there?

Answer: We encourage the children to work together so if there are only two chairs then the children squeeze over to make room for one more. Other children will decide to go and do something else and come back later. If the children need help, we will talk with them to see how we can make it work with everyone. If the project is very popular, then we move everything to a bigger table so more kids can play.

If one child finish this activity , can change to other activity or what happen?

Answer: When a child finishes an activity, he moves onto another.

In your class you have children with different ages. All activities are for all them or are there any special activity depending of the age?.

All centers and activities are designed so they will be open ended and all the children can participate. The older children may do the activity one way while the younger children may do it another. For example, if the children are playing a game – the younger children may just fill up the game board with as many pieces as they can while the older children may actually take turns and play the game as intended.

How much time are the activities avaliable for the children, one day, one week…depending of the activity?

It depend on the activity. A table activity is made available only one day unless requested to do it again. Items on the shelves and other centers are out until the children seem to lose interest then we rotate them. It could be a week or the whole year before items on shelves are changed depending on what the interest is by the children.

Thank you for stopping by :) I hope this helps!

Deborah

Reply

7 Laura May 29, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Thank you very much for answer all my questions. You are the best :)

Reply

8 Ana María Merchán May 16, 2014 at 7:09 am

Son tantas ideas, que realmente un docente también deje volar su imaginación y mas estimule la del infante, y sea un camino para poner en practica los saberes, adquiera nuevo conocimiento y los reconstruya, además desarrolle su saber hacer.

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