Christmas Sensory Bottles

A little holiday, a little sensory, and a whole lotta STEAM is contained in these bottles, and safe for even the littlest scientists. Bottle 1 explores magnets and sound. Bottle 2 explores light science and color. What’s the science behind this bottle? Clear water beads have the same refractive index as water; meaning light travels through the water and water beads at the same rate. So our eyes see them as the same thing. Bottle 3 explores floating and sound. The bottles can also be used for color recognition and counting, along with weight comparison.

Supplies & Instructions

plastic bottles

metal bells

magnetic wand

acrylic tree shapes

clear water beads



For bottle 1 put bells into the bottle and close. For bottle 2 add acrylic trees and hydrated clear water beads, then fill with water leaving some air space at the the top. For bottle 3 add cranberries and fill completely with water.

Preschool prompts

Can you move the bells without picking up the bottle? How many bells can you grab with the magnet? (without touching the bottle) Are the trees sinking or floating? (no pick up the bottle) Why aren’t the trees moving? Are the cranberries sinking or floating? Which bottle is the lightest? Which bottle makes the most noise?

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