Discovery bottles are containers that are filled with various materials as a way to encourage non-messy sensory play!
What to do?
To make your own discovery bottle you will need: a recycled plastic bottle, water, loose objects/art materials to put inside.
Discovery bottles are a great way for young children to explore. Depending on what you put inside them, young children can explore sound and sight in a way that is safe. Add water to an empty bottle, and then choose colour and different objects. By adding beads into the bottle, babies are able to explore sound without the fear of them putting them in their mouths. If you add glitter or baby oil, children can watch the movement of glitter in the water and explore textures through sight instead! Discovery bottles address a wide range of skills and concepts and can be adapted to meet the needs of the children using them.
Every activity we do at Avendale is purposefully designed with developmentally appropriate learning outcomes in mind. The discovery bottle can be used to assist your baby or toddler’s learning in these areas:
- Language: receptive language (questions), descriptive language and vocabulary development
- Social skills: sharing, communication and problem solving
- Science: sink/float, sorting and observation
- Sensory: visual perception and tactile sense
While your child plays with the discovery bottle you can focus on building specific vocabulary by deliberately using words they may not yet be familiar with. The words you choose to focus on will depend on your child’s current vocabulary. Example words to focus on may be:
Discuss with your child
Asking your child questions encourages them to think and engage in deeper learning. For instance, you could ask them:
- What can you see?
- What can you hear?
- Can you shake the bottle?
Each child is unique and develops at their own pace. The guidelines below are an indication of how you and your child might collaborate in this activity:
- 6 - 24 months: You create the bottle and your child plays with it
- 24 - 36 months: Your child helps you make the bottle
- 36+: Your child can make the bottle themselves (with a little help e.g. pouring water/glitter in, etc)