Ooooh we are so excited to share this oh-so-thrilling DIY sensory bottle with you! It screams of danger, those stinging tentacles surrounded by blue.
How cool is it for kids to be able to safely get “up close” to jellyfish tentacles!? We love that this sensory bottle gives a simple tactile visual to admire, hold, and explore.
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Jellyfish tentacles are one of nature’s most fascinating feats. Truly. (We’ve been teaching for over a decade, and the jellyfish still never fails to amaze us.)
So, let us school you for just a minute before we get to the DIY…after all, that’s what’s so great about discovery bottles: they let you sprinkle in some learning in a way that’s super fun.
First of all, the jellyfish isn’t much more than gelatinous water, clear muscles, and cells that sting.
They have no blood, heart, brain, or eyes (except for the box jellyfish which has 24 eyes). Instead, they have a simple nerve net that tells it where to go and what to do.
The tentacles are laced with thousands of tiny stinging cells that can be triggered by touch or a change in surrounding chemistry.
When triggered, they shoot out tiny harpoons that stick into the skin and inject venom, causing the sting. OUCH!!
Take a look (4-ish minutes):
Pretty amazing, huh?
Well, our passion and fascination extends to all things ocean, and if you haven’t checked out our children’s books yet, we hope you’ll explore our Amazon author page!
TONS of ocean fun & learning, geared for ages 4-8.
(Jellyfish are one of the many sea creatures we included in Zale’s Tales: The Quest for the Magic Pearl.)
So, now let’s capture those tentacles in this easy DIY sensory bottle!
- sensory bottle (we used this one from Michaels)
- blue liquid soap (we used a body wash with moisture beads for extra texture)
- hot glue gun
- metallic glue sticks (we used the purple, white, and silver)
- parchment paper
By the way, the blue body wash that has moisture beads was a great substitute for glitter! Why no glitter? We prefer not using it, as it easily gets into the environment — especially when washed down the drain or used outside — and can be mistaken for food by animals and causes lots of trouble for them and the food web.
1. Lay a long piece of parchment paper on a work surface or counter top, and make about 10 or so long squiggles with the hot glue.
(You can see below, we made the squiggles about twice as long as our sensory bottle.)
TIP: If you have a gap in a squiggle, you can go over it again with the hot glue.
2. When the hot glue squiggles are dry, take them off of the parchment paper and put them into the bottle, using the skewer to help if needed.
3. Fill the bottle with blue soap.
4. Put the cap on the bottle. (You may want to glue/tape it on to prevent it from being opened or spilled.)
Want to turn this into a spooky apothecary jar for Halloween? It’s easy with our free printable label!
We hope you have a blast making this — we sure did!
For even more ocean-themed sensory bottles, check out:
- Fish Eggs Sensory Bottle
- Fish Scales Sensory Bottle
- Hagfish Slime Sensory Bottle
- Squid Eyes Sensory Bottle
- Octopus Arms Sensory Bottle
- Mermaid Hair Sensory Bottle
Disclaimer: All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision. Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies). Observe caution and safety at all times. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.