Wave in a Bottle

When I was growing up, my aunt loved to do fun things with me and my brother. One of my favorite projects with her was my wave in a bottle. I remember bringing it home and playing with it for hours. I would shake it, roll it, tilt it back and forth; you name it, I probably did it. And it was so cool how it never really mixed… but watching it settle was so much fun.

I recently did this project with N. He had fun putting it together and had a blast playing with it. I had to take it away because I was afraid he would break it with all of his shenanigans. I am sure in a few more years, once he is in school and we start discussing science, it will be even cooler to him. Learning and understanding how waves work, the density variation in water and oil, which one the food coloring mixes with and why, etc.

What you will need to do this with your little one:

  • clean 2 liter bottle, label removed, preferably clear all around, with cap
  • canola or vegetable oil
  • water
  • food coloring, blue for the ocean or your little one’s favorite color
  • electrical tape, optional
  • hot glue/hot glue gun, optional
  • funnel, optional

Make sure to get your child involved as much as they can. Whether it’s holding the funnel or pouring the liquid… let them have fun with it!

Start by pouring the oil into the bottle. Fill the bottle about ⅓ of the way with the oil.

Fill the bottle the rest of the way with water.

Add food coloring… as much or as little as you want depending on how dark you’d like it.


Cap the bottle.

If you want to really make sure your kiddo can’t open it, tape it up or glue it shut.

Now you’re ready to shake, rattle, and roll! Enjoy!

3 Responses to Wave in a Bottle

  1. I bet my toddler would love this! We’ll definitely be doing it. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Great idea! I bet my son would love it when he gets a little older. Thanks!

  3. I remember doingthese in school! Totally going to try it with my ods.

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