Mini Aquarium in a Bottle: Ocean Sensory Play to Learn and Explore

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…

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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.

Ocean Aquarium Sensory Bottle: Kids can learn and explore sea animals with their own mini aquarium sensory bottle. (summer, sand, shells, kids activity)

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). Some of our favorite activities have been making an Ocean Animal Coffee Filter Craft, Learning About the Layers of the Ocean, and Ocean Sensory Matching Game that 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 :).

 

Suggested Books:

Click photos: Affiliate links to more information on these books we love! 🙂

The Rainbow FishThe Rainbow FishThe Pout-Pout FishThe Pout-Pout FishMister Seahorse by Carle, Eric (2004) HardcoverMister Seahorse by Carle, Eric (2004) HardcoverNational Geographic Readers: Swim Fish!National Geographic Readers: Swim Fish!

Mini Aquarium in a Bottle

Ocean Aquarium Sensory Bottle: Kids can learn and explore sea animals with their own mini aquarium sensory bottle. (summer, sand, shells, kids activity)

Supplies:

Sand

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)

Water

Blue food coloring (optional)

Small shells (optional)

 

Click photos: Affiliate links to more information on these items we love! (Purchases through affiliate links earn us a small commission with no extra cost to you. See our Disclosure Policy here.)

VOSS Artesian Water (Still), 330ml Plastic Bottles (Pack of 12)VOSS Artesian Water Under The Sea Plastic Sea Life Creatures 90 pcUnder The Sea Plastic Sea Life Creatures 90 pcTiny Miniature Fairy Garden Beach Critter Seashells Marine Life Collection for Art & Craft Project, Outdoor & Indoor Home Decoration, Party Favor, Invitation (4.5oz Bag, 500 Shell) by Super Z OutletTiny Miniature Seashells Be Good Company Natural Sand (Refill Pack)Be Good Company Natural Sand

 

 

Directions:

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.

Ocean Aquarium Sensory Bottle: Kids can learn and explore sea animals with their own mini aquarium sensory bottle. (summer, sand, shells, kids activity)

Ocean Aquarium Sensory Bottle: Kids can learn and explore sea animals with their own mini aquarium sensory bottle. (summer, sand, shells, kids activity)

Next have them select animals and put them inside their aquarium.

Ocean Aquarium Sensory Bottle: Kids can learn and explore sea animals with their own mini aquarium sensory bottle. (summer, sand, shells, kids activity)

Ocean Aquarium Sensory Bottle: Kids can learn and explore sea animals with their own mini aquarium sensory bottle. (summer, sand, shells, kids activity)

 

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

Ocean Aquarium Unit Study Activities

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

5 comments

  1. Love your under the sea bottles!
    We used to Live by the Ocean and Home School ?
    I am now getting my craft ideas together for my 6 Grandchildren and Reliving my Days as Having Fun with Crafts that had learning Behavior behind everything We did✍️ Making it fun and Learning Curves MET WELL BEFORE OTHERS THEIR AGE!! LOVE coupling books with crafts We did also as well as Field Trips>>Aquarium ??My Children could mentally, verbally. Have fun and be motivated to do Incredible Crafts! So thank you for helping me Remember the easiest of ideas for this Grandma ?

  2. A creative activity to engage children more in the ocean unit study. The mini aquarium will make a great display that brings children to the feeling close to the ocean. Thank you very much to share with us in Family Fun Friday.

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