Create an Ocean in a Bottle

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What You Need:

  • Glass bottle or jar
  • Hot glue gun
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Blue food coloring
  • Sand
  • Seashells

What You Do:

  1. Make sure your jar is washed out and clean. Help your child spoon some sand into the jar.
  2. Add water until ½ full. Add 1 drop of blue food coloring or more until you get a color you like.
  3. Have your child add a few shells to your "ocean."
  4. Add vegetable oil until almost full. Leave a small space for air at the top.
  5. Taking over duties, use the hot glue gun and put glue around the lid and then place the lid on the bottle.

Turn your ocean on its side and watch the waves go back and forth. Watch the sand gently move as the waves go by. Shake up the bottle. What happens to the sand? What happens to the shells? Does all the sand move as the waves move or just a little at a time? Your ocean in a jar is too small to mimic the tidal patterns of the real ocean but will offer a great opportunity to see the effects of energy in motion.

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