Learn how to make a sensory bottle that’s like a mini aquarium in a bottle for kids to play with. Perfect for young kids and preschoolers.
Make mini aquarium sensory bottles so kids can tap on the aquarium wall without getting in trouble as they shake up some ocean animals, make some waves, and learn about the creatures of the sea.
As kids shake up their aquariums they can find and name ocean animals. My kid’s picked out a variety of ocean animals like sea horses, fish, crabs, stingrays, sharks, and jellyfish to add to their mini aquariums. They love flipping them over and watching the waves crash and the animals swim. They helped make their own aquarium sensory bottle but you could always make one on your own so your kiddo could discover the animals inside.
My kids are no strangers to aquariums. At one point my husband went through a “Fish Phase” and we had 7 aquariums in our house. It was kinda nuts but really cool for the kids to see so many ocean animals. With that said we love ocean activities (even though my husband’s fish phase is over).
Try some of our favorite ocean activities are:
- Ocean Animal Coffee Filter Craft
- Learning About the Layers of the Ocean, and
- Ocean Sensory Matching Game
Each one would be perfect to go along with this activity. I’m pretty sure if we lived near a beach it would feel like a second home because we would be there so often :). If you are like me, and need more ocean play, make some Ocean Playdough and add the free printable accessories to go with it. You can also make an Ocean Sensory Bag that’s fun for everyone to play with.
Click photos: Affiliate links to more information on these books we love!
Mini Aquarium in a Bottle
Empty bottle (We used a plastic VOSS Water Bottle-affiliate link)
Small ocean animal toys-(My kids love this set Under The Sea Plastic Sea Life Creatures-affiliate link)
Blue food coloring (optional)
Small shells (optional)
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Rinse your sand so it doesn’t make the water cloudy by putting it in a bowl, add water, swirl around, and carefully pour out the cloudy water. Repeat until the water no longer gets dusty. NOTE: Not all sand is made the same, better quality sand is less dusty.
Fill your plastic bottle with approximately 2 inches of sand.
Fill the sensory bottle with water. If the sand is dusty overflow the water bottle so the dust runs out (the sand should stay at the bottom of the bottle).
To prepare their aquarium have child add small shells and a drop of blue food coloring to the water.
Next have them select animals and put them inside their aquarium.
Close the bottle tight and the sensory bottle is ready to be played with. (You may want to seal the bottle shut by gluing the lid on. We left our bottle lid unglued because we want to retrieve our ocean animals once we are done with our sensory bottles. I am crossing my fingers they stay shut and we don’t have aquarium water all over the house :).
See More: Aquarium Unit Study Ideas
Aquarium Animals Letter Find Worksheets from 3 Boys and a Dog
Under the Sea Fun Octopus Vegetable Platter from Crafty Mama in ME
Aquarium Arithmetic Seek and Find from Look! We’re Learning!
Fish Books for Kids from The Jenny Evolution
How Fish Breathe – A Science Experiment from Tales of Education at Home
Fun Things to See at the Newport Aquarium from Something 2 Offer
Aquarium Scavenger Hunt Printable for Kids from CraftCreateCalm
Aquarium in a Bottle: Ocean Sensory Idea from A Little Pinch of Perfect
Aquarium I Spy from Schooling a Monkey
Finding Fish Learning Placemat from Books and Giggles
Snorkeling with Kids in Thailand: A Live Aquarium from FrogMom
More Ocean Resources
Montessori Ocean Animals with Matching Cards-affiliate link
Under the Sea 96-page Activity Book-affiliate link
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean-affiliate link
My First Match It! – At the Ocean-affiliate link
You Are My Baby: Ocean-affiliate link
Thanks for playing with us today. If you enjoyed this activity please pin & share it with others so they can enjoy it too! Love, Katie & the Kiddos