The ocean is a wonderful biome—full of interesting plants, animals, and unique natural wonders. One of the most interesting parts of oceans is that they are made up of salt water! Through this activity, you’ll get to explore the waves oceans make, as well as, the properties of salt water by creating your own ocean in a bottle!
Activity best for children ages 2 and up
- Empty, clear water bottle
- 2-4 tablespoons salt
- Tap water
- Sand, rocks, or dirt
- Small leaves or twigs
- Optional: Blue food coloring
- Optional: Paper, crayons, scissors, and glue
- What happens to the natural materials in your bottle when you tilt it? What might this teach you about waves in the ocean?
- What objects sink? Float? Was it different in salt water? What does this make you think?
Collect natural materials from outside such as 1 cup of dirt, some small pebbles, leaves, or twigs.
Place the sand, rocks, or dirt into your plastic water bottle.
Place the leaves or twigs into your plastic water bottle, layering them on top of your sand, rocks, or dirt.
Fill your bottle with water.
Tilt your bottle back and forth. Notice how the water and objects move.
Add in the salt. Tilt the bottle back and forth again. Did anything change about the way the objects moved?
Add 2-3 drops of blue food coloring.
Use paper, crayons, and glue to create underwater creatures that you can glue to the outside of your bottle. For example: starfish, octopus, or sharks!
Be sure to share your oceans in a bottle with us on Instagram by tagging @sdcdm320.
Do you have questions about this activity? Email Education@sdcdm.org