ABC’s of Discovery Bottles (F – J)

Discovery Bottles F - J by Teach Preschool

F is for fine motor skills and Fireworks and Fairies

A wonderful part of a child-made discovery bottle is the fine motor work that can happen as young children use their fingers to put items in their bottles.  Set out empty water bottles and small objects like pompoms or cotton balls and let your students use their fingers to fill up the bottles then perhaps a set of tweezers to try and pull the objects back out of the bottles. Your students will be discovering what happens as they squish up the pompoms to go into the bottle versus what happens when they let go and try to take the pompom out.  The pompom is much more difficult to pull out then to push in and great for working with tweezers and fine motor skills…

Pompom play with Tweezers

Click here to read more about Fireworks in a Bottle by No Twiddle Twaddle
Click photo to read “Fireworks in a Bottle” by No Twiddle Twaddle
Click here to read "Fairy Garden Discovery Bottle" by Here Come the Girls
Click photo to read “Fairy Garden Discovery Bottle” by Here Come the Girls


Here’s more fine motor fun that you can do with your students!


G is for Glitter, Glue and Glow

There are different kinds of glitter that can be used in a discovery bottle. One type of glitter is the standard glitter used in most classrooms but this glitter is heavy and sinks quickly down to the bottom of a discovery bottle no matter what kind of liquid is in the bottle.  A second type is a very fine glitter available in small bottles in the craft section at Walmart or in other craft stores.

Click the Photo to view the Glitter (Sparkle) Bottle by My Bodies and I.
Click the Photo to read “Glitter (Sparkle) Bottle” by My Bodies and I

The glitter used in the bottle below is a fine glitter – it was hard to get a good photo but fine glitter really shimmers and flows slowly and brilliantly throughout the discovery bottle.   The bottle you see below has water, fine glitter, and glitter glue to help slow the movement in the bottle…

Glitter Glue Discovery Bottle

See this wonderful posts on how to make a Glitter Glue bottle also known as the Relax or Calming bottle by My Crazy Blessed Life.

Click the photo to view how to make a glowing discovery bottle by Growing a Jeweled Rose
Click the photo to view how to make a glowing discovery bottle by Growing a Jeweled Rose

H is for Hot Glue 

If I use a liquid in my discovery bottle, I almost always hot glue the lid closed. The best way to hot glue a lid closed is to put the hot glue into the lid and then screw the lid onto the bottle. For non-liquid filled discovery bottles, the decision of whether to hot glue the lid on or not is based on how I think the bottle will be used in the classroom or how old the child is that will be playing with the bottle.  Before hot gluing a lid onto a bottle, make sure you are actually ready to permanently close the bottle up because I will tell you from personal experience that it is almost impossible to get that lid off!

Discovery Bottles F - J by Teach Preschool

I is for I Spy

A popular use of discovery bottles is to make them into I Spy games….

I Spy Discovery Bottle by Teach Preschool

Some folks fill the bottles with colored or plain rice and then add a variety of objects to the rice for the children to shake around and find. Others just fill their bottles with objects (no rice) and invite the children to see what they can spy (find).

Click photo to view the I Spy Discovery Bottle by Domestic Goddesque
Click photo to view “I Spy Discovery Bottle” by Domestic Goddesque

Adding the rice or other fine materials like beans, seeds, or confetti invites the children to shake the bottle and see what new object or color or shape will pop up!

I Spy Colors Discovery Bottle

J is for Jar

Remember, you don’t have to exclusively use a water bottle for a discovery bottle. For older children, you can also use a jar. Perhaps the jar might be best as a table top discovery bottle but a jar will work too…

Discovery Jars by Teach Preschool

Come back tomorrow for more tips and examples of discovery bottles or hop on over the the ABC’s of Discovery Bottles landing page!

More ABC’s…


Be sure to check out the ABC’s of School Activities by my fellow bloggers (shown below)


Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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