Season discovery and sensory bottles are an awesome way to explore science. They are so easy and affordable to make and are a great activity to add into your homeschool routine or use to supplement learning at home.
These are excellent in supporting STEM learning.
This week we made bottles that represent the seasons; spring, summer, fall and winter. Let me show you how much fun these were to create and all of the learning opportunities that come along with creating them. Before I show you how to make these discovery bottles, let’s talk about why we have seasons.
What Are The Seasons?
We experience 4 seasons in a year; spring, summer, fall and winter. This happens because the earth is always moving around the sun. The earth tilts on its axis while it is orbiting the sun. It takes one whole year for the earth to go around the sun.
During this movement, the earth is sometimes closer to the sun and sometimes further away. This makes for differences in light and darkness as well as the temperature. We notice this as the seasons change.
Let me show you how to make our discovery bottles and as we make them we can talk about facts for each season.
Supplies for Discovery Bottles:
To fill your sensory bottles you can use things like:
- pony beads
- other small items that support your theme.
Just grab these items and a recycled water bottle and you are ready to create.
Spring Discovery Bottle
For our spring bottle, we used rice as our main filler. Just regular old rice from the pantry.
Then, we gathered trinkets from the craft store that represent items from spring-like: insects, buttons that represent rain/water, a little birdhouse, some mini rain boots, etc. I also found some fabric flowers. I simply cut off the stems. We also ended up adding some sequins and glitter as well.
We took our dry, empty, water bottle and filled it with rice. Adding items into the top of the bottle is a great way for your child to practice their motor skills. They can practice using funnels while adding the rice.
We then added all of our trinkets. Have your kids add items in a specific order or pattern to learn and expand on math skills from school.
We only filled the bottle about three-fourths of the way full, leaving room to shake it up once the lid is on the bottle.
Spend hours searching for all things spring. Can you find the boots? How many green frogs can you find? What about the purple flowers?
- On the first day of spring, March 20th, the sun shines equally on both the north and south hemispheres of the Earth
- During this time, the hours of daylight get longer and longer until summer
- The northern hemisphere is tilting more and more towards the sun
- New growth begins to happen like tree leaves, flowers blooming and growing grass
- New bugs and insects are born as the weather warms
- New baby animals are born and hibernating animals awaken
Summer Discovery Bottle
For the summer bottle, we wanted to create the ocean and do some science with oil and water.
This is a great opportunity to learn how water and oil do not mix and why oil floats.
For this, you simply fill a water bottle one-third of the way with water.
Add 5 drops of blue food color.
Finally, fill the bottle the rest of the way with cooking oil of your choice.
- June 21st is the first day of summer
- Summer is the season with the longest and warmest days of the year, meaning more
- The dark hours are shorter
- Summer is when many crops are grown
Fall Discovery Bottle
We loved making this bottle because we were able to go outside and grab things from our yard to add to
this bottle. One of my 9-year-old twins, Luke, found sticks and acorns.
We used pasta as the main filler. I grabbed some tri-colored pasta that represents the colors of fall perfectly.
I also added some small decorative pumpkins, apples and leaves. These were at the craft store over in the decor area. You would typically use these to fill a vase.
First we filled the bottle halfway with pasta. Then we added the leaves, acorns, sticks and pumpkins, etc. We ended by filling the bottle the rest of the way with pasta. It is best to leave about a 1-2 inch space at
the top of the bottle so there is plenty of room for shaking things up. Pop the lid on it and now we can play ISPY. Can you find all of the acorns? What about the sticks? Shake, shake, shake and then find them again. Go over color recognition as you talk about the colors of fall. Lots of ways to work in science and math!
- Fall is also called autumn
- The first day of fall is September 22nd
- In fall, we begin to move to shorter daylight hours and cooler temperatures
- Leaves on trees begin to change color and fall off of the trees as well as nuts
Winter Discovery Bottle
Last, we made the winter bottle. We filled the bottle about three-fourths of the way full with water. The boys then funneled in the blue pony beads. We added snowflake buttons. So fun! We also added four jingle bells, which dropped right to the bottom. We talked about why they sink and do not float. Also, the bells would no longer ring in the water. We talked about why. Then we added glitter.
Pop the lid on it and shake it up. You have a snowing winter bottle.
This bottle changes fastback to its unshaken look. The bells and pony beads sink quickly and the glitter floats. Do you know why?