Ocean in a Bottle
Whether or not you and your child live near the beach, you can bring the wonder and science of blue waves within the plastic confines of a simple soda bottle. The perfect start to either a science lesson or a creative DIY gift, this ocean in a bottle will provide tons of entertainment and education.
What You Need:
- Two-liter soda bottle
- Blue food coloring
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- Styrofoam scraps
What You Do:
- Have your child fill the soda bottle with water. Make sure there are about seven inches between the water and the top of the bottle.
- Help her add several drops of blue food coloring. Encourage her to experiment with the color. Does she want a deep blue shade for her ocean or a more transparent teal?
- Let her gently shake the bottle to mix the food coloring in with the water.
- Have her pour 2 1/2 cups of vegetable oil into the bottle.
- Help her use her hands to shape the Styrofoam scraps into tiny boats.
- Let her drop the boats into the bottle. Do her homemade boats float just like real ones?
- Take a handful of coins and ask your child whether she thinks they will float like the boats or sink. Then let her find out for herself.
- What else belongs in the ocean? Have your child use the foil to create people, ocean creatures or even a tiny submarine. Let her put her creations in the bottle along with the Styrofoam boats and coins..
- Help her screw the cap on the bottle nice and tight.
- Have her gently flip the bottle over.
- Did any of her boats, coins or other ocean objects change position?
- Let her turn the ocean in a bottle on its side. Where are all the objects now?
- Show your child how to make miniature waves by tilting the entire bottle back and forth.
Encourage your child to add some more decorative elements to her ocean in a bottle! Maybe her ocean habitat needs some fake plants or a sandy floor.