5 Exciting Discovery Bottles for a Montessori Toddler Program

Discovery bottles have been around in many Montessori toddler programs for some time now, and they only get more popular by the year. Parents and teachers alike love this concept because of the sheer number of learning and sensory skills they can address. For example, discovery bottles can help with:

  • Fine and gross motor skills like turning, shaking, and rotating
  • Math skills such as counting, matching, and shapes
  • Language skills like letters, sounds, and descriptive language
  • Science skills such as predicting, observing, density, buoyancy, and sound

With so many discovery bottle ideas out there, it would be nearly impossible to make them all at once. Discover five that any Montessori toddler program can start with to help young children stretch their imagination, learn critical skills, and grow in their thinking and problem-solving abilities.

1. Alphabet

The alphabet discovery bottle is a great way to engage toddlers who are learning their ABCs and discovering the meaning and sound attached to letters. 

This colorful bottle is usually made with large alphabet beads, corn syrup (or clear gel), and a little bit of glitter if you wish to add some pizzazz. The beads will float through the water and give toddlers a sensory-friendly way to identify letters according to their shapes.

2. Ocean Creatures

An ocean creature discovery bottle is an engaging activity that can help children in a Montessori toddler program learn about which animals and organisms make their home in the ocean. 

You can use the same solution as you would for any other discovery bottle and simply place ocean creature mini-figurines in them, such as sea lions, starfish, turtles, sharks, and dolphins.

You may also want to take things a step further by using food coloring to make the water blue or using sand instead of water if you’d like to switch things up a bit.

3. Magnetic Chips

Filling a discovery bottle with mineral oil and magnetic chips not only keeps a toddler’s attention and awe because of the range of colors floating through the bottle, but it also engages their mind about magnetic forces. 

You can add paper clips to the bottle to allow children to observe how metal and magnets are attached to each other. Try using pipe cleaners for a fun variation on this bottle or including a magnet wand outside of the bottle so toddlers can have fun attracting and moving the objects inside.

4. Counting Bears

This sensory bottle is perfect for helping toddlers discover the joy of learning to count. All you’ll need is some rainbow-colored bear counters, gel solution, and a wide-mouth bottle with a secure lid. 

Children in any Montessori toddler program will enjoy observing all the colors and the bears suspended in the gel and can have fun counting how many they see in the bottle.

5. Sound Exploration

A teacher in a Montessori toddler program can make any number of sound exploration discovery bottles to help children discover the sounds different objects make. 

These bottles need no solution. You can make them with soft objects like pom poms or foam letters as well as heavier objects like small crayons or large beads. As a toddler moves the bottle, they’ll learn to distinguish which objects make loud and soft sounds.

Discovery Bottles Can Help Toddlers Learn and Grow

Discovery bottles are so much more than a trend. They’re a valuable addition to any Montessori toddler program because of the myriad skills they can help young children develop while maintaining their interest in new and exciting ways.

If you’re looking for opportunities to stimulate learning and discovery in your toddler-aged child, Montessori West is here to help. We’ve been providing authentic Montessori education to children in the South Bay for 50 years. Contact us today to discover how our toddler programs can meet your child’s developmental needs and plant the seed for a lifetime love of learning.

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