Creating Discovery Bottles
Discovery bottles are a relatively new addition to classrooms around the country, but they are quickly gaining in popularity. Although they’re more for younger kids, older children and even teachers often enjoy in their participation to help make discovery bottles and observe what happens inside them.
Discovery bottles are designed to encourage the skills of younger students. They help kids develop observation skills as well as thinking skills. Discovery bottles also encourage students to start thinking as they will often begin hypothesizing and predicting what will happen inside a discovery bottle. They encourage students to speak up and to analyze what they see. The discovery bottle can be a wonderful ice breaker for shyer students and even improves communications skills as students have to learn to articulate their thoughts.
Discovery bottles can be considered tiny little experiment areas. With them, there is no mess so there’s no cleanup involved and there’s no real danger to students, either. They’re perfect for teachers of younger children who can’t quite tackle the older stuff but want to learn about the way things work just as much as any other kid does.
For most discovery bottles, all you really need is four things. Firstly, you need a regular plastic bottle which is clear so that the students can see inside it. Secondly, most discovery bottles require you to add water to the materials inside because water is what makes things happen in the experiments. Other materials will also include whatever is going inside the discovery bottle ‘ materials like screws, sand, metal, crayons, even flowers or similar things ‘ and usually a teacher will require a lot of it if they’re having an entire class do the same discovery bottle. The last material is duct tape for the top. Little kids can be clumsy and water can often slip out of the bottles if they’re dropped or mishandled.
Here’s a Step-by-step guide on how to make an Ocean Wave Bottle:
- Find some seashells or anything related to the ocean.
- With the bottle standing, carefully put the materials into it.
- Add water up to about a third of the bottle.
- Using a medicine dropper or a pipette, add some blue food coloring. Make sure it’s not too much so that the items on the bottom can be seen.
- With a funnel, add mineral oil until the bottle is almost full.
- Seal the bottle with the cap and some duct tape.
- Then, tip the bottle from side to side and enjoy the view!
There are many other kinds of discovery bottles. One is the magnetic bottle. Another is the rust bottle, where nails or screws are added to the bottle and water is poured on so that students can watch them rust. There are crayon shaving bottles where the bottle is filled with shavings and water is added so that the shavings gradually dissolve. There are even glow-in-the-dark discovery bottles. Small items that glow in the dark ‘ such as glow-in-the-dark stars ‘ are placed in the bottle. No water is needed for this experiment. Instead, the bottle should be placed in a dark area so that students can observe how the stars glow.