Sunday, April 3, 2011

Create Discovery Bottles (for free!)

Discovery bottles provide a safe way for babies to explore and play with objects that would otherwise be too small or dangerous for little hands. 

The idea for these discovery bottles came from my husband when we were at Port Discovery in Baltimore.

Both at the MD Science Center and Port Discovery, there were clear plastic tubes filled with objects to play with. One in particular captured Ethan's attention. It was a tube filled with multi-colored paper shred. In this case, the tube was fastened to the wall, and could spin, but in most cases, the tubes were not fastened to anything, but were simply there as toys.

We decided we could do the same thing at home for free! (You know how much I love free and creative projects and toys!)

What you need:
  • Clear water/drink bottles 
  • Items from around the house to put in the bottles
  • Super glue

  • Wash and dry the water bottles. Remove the bottle label. I used Sports Drink bottles because they were clear, but also more solid and durable than a water bottle.
  • Fill with contents--Find things for free around the house!
  • Test the bottle with baby. Ethan was not a fan of a bottle filled with marbles, so we switched to cloths pins instead! (Be sure the cap is on tightly!)
  • When you are happy with the bottle, super glue the lid to the bottle (for safety).
Ethan not only enjoys the contents of the bottle, but also the bottle's texture

Ideas for bottle contents:
  • Construction paper, run though a paper shredder (or gift shred or Easter basket grass)
  • Small twigs collected outside
  • Cloths pins
  • Marbles
  • Feathers
  • Curled curling ribbon
  • Bouncy balls
  • Dried pasta
  • Small toys (I saw some small plastic fish at the Dollar Store that would have been perfect)
  • Small stones
  • Colored straws or pipe cleaners cut to different sizes
  • Aluminum foil or shiny wrapping or craft paper
  • etc, etc, etc....
  • Make maracas using dried corn or beans

Be creative-there's no right or wrong answers...


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