Ocean in a Bottle with 3 Simple Ingredients

Make an ocean in a bottle with 3 easy ingredients. One of the fastest and easiest-ever science activities for preschoolers. I love to make homemade toys for the hooligans. Discovery bottles are always a favourite here. They look so beautiful, and no matter what we fill them with. This particular ocean in a bottle has to be the most amazing looking bottle we’ve made yet though! It was SO easy to make, and you likely already have everything you need on hand.

To make our ocean in a bottle, we used:

  • water
  • cooking oil (we used canola, but vegetable would work well)
  • blue food colouring
  • large bottle (2 litre pop bottles work well, but we used a mouthwash bottle with a child-safe lid)
  • funnel

How to make an ocean in a bottle:

I didn’t have a 2L pop bottle on hand, so we used an empty mouthwash bottle.   I like that the lid is child-safe, and too challenging for little hands to twist open.  If you’re using a bottle that’s not child-safe, you might want to run a little hot-glue around the inside of the bottle lid.

  1. Fill approximately 1/3 of your bottle with water.
  2. Add several drops of food colouring.
  3. Have your child shake the bottle to disperse the food colouring.

Now, simply top up the bottle with oil.  I filled ours right to the top and then popped the lid on.

Tip the bottle upside down and watch your ocean come to life.

The pictures really don’t do this activity justice. You have to see it in action.

The way the waves roll cascade inside the bottle is just beautiful, and watching the big blobs of colour swoosh and fall through the yellow oil is really fascinating.

The more you agitate the bottle, the more the bubbly the ocean becomes.

Set your bottle down occasionally to let the bubbles settle, and then start all over again.

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