A pine needle discovery bottle

Bring wonder into your classroom with these easy to make discovery bottles!

There is just something about pinecones and pine needles that are so inviting and so beautiful. I wanted my students to take a closer look at the pine needles so I made up a few pine needle discovery bottles to add to our classroom collection…

Preparing the Materials

The materials are simple. I only added water and pine needles to the bottles and I hot glued the lids closed.  As the children looked through the bottles, the pine needles were magnified by the curves of the bottles which really gives an interesting perspective of the pine needles…

I am always collecting different sizes and shapes of water bottles so I invited the children to make their own pine needle discovery bottles too…

Steps to Making a Discovery Bottle

They started by adding a one or more pine needle branches to their water bottle and then filling up the bottle with water almost to the top…

Once the water was added, the children added a few pinches or spoon fulls of glitter to their bottle…

Then the children brought the bottles over to me and I added hot glue to the inside of their lids and put them on the bottles…

These were pretty tall bottles and perhaps a bit on the heavy side too:)   But the children loved them and enjoyed shaking the glitter with both hands and watching the glitter land all around their pine needles…

Investigating with Discovery Bottles

The children took their pine needle discovery bottles home at the end of the day and I set mine back up on our discovery shelf for children to continue to explore and wonder… I cannot wait to see where these discovery bottles take the children to next!

Available on Amazon

By |2018-12-06T13:23:50+00:00December 11th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Riley Grant December 11, 2012 at 7:30 am - Reply

    You are so stinkin’ creative!!

  2. Rhythm December 11, 2012 at 9:15 am - Reply

    This looks like a lot of fun! You always seem to have fun ideas!

  3. Cathie December 11, 2012 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Cute and simple idea. Love that the children were so involved.

    Cathie @toddlersthroughpreschool.com

  4. Ann December 12, 2012 at 6:39 am - Reply

    These are beautiful!

  5. Loralee December 12, 2012 at 11:48 pm - Reply

    These are beautiful!

  6. Fran Lafferty December 18, 2012 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    I’ve had such delight browsing your blog, and it makes me wish I had such creative sites like this to give me ideas when I had preschoolers of my own (mine are teenagers now).

    Drop by my blog for some Fran’s Freebies — fun printables I made when I was homeschooling — and let me return some of the fun to you…! I just added a Big and Little card set today, along with a packet of sizes worksheets with big, colorful graphics. I’ve got so much stuff, I’m adding new Freebies every week…!

    Thanks again for this fun site! :O>

  7. Toni Callahan January 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    I LOVE this! It is so simple and creative and inviting!!! Going to find some bottles right now!

  8. B Buntz May 2, 2013 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    Those are really cool! I know my kiddos would love this activity!
    One question: does the pine branch start to break down after awhile? I can’t imagine them lasting in water for too long.
    Thanks for the great idea!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 2, 2013 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      Hi Barbie,
      Our pine branches lasted forever – the water starts to get ucky looking though after several months.

  9. Winter Theme Activities for Preschoolers December 15, 2016 at 12:08 am - Reply

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