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Lava Sensory/Discovery Bottles With A Twist!

We are moving into our ocean study month, to kick it off we have been making ocean themed sensory/discovery bottles. These bottles are a well known, popular craft, yet I have never made any of these before this year. When I started looking into them I quickly discovered there are many different ways to make them, and people are thinking of new ones all the time. We have been testing out several ways to and making up some of our own to see what we like best. So far we have made them using water, baby oil, vegetable oil, rocks, rice, popcorn kernels, beads, pearls, glitter, and much more! My husband likes the rice and rock ones best, whereas the kiddo likes the lave lamp ones best, shown below. However you decide to make yours they are sure to be a huge hit with the little ones! Scroll down, check out our results for our lava lamp we did recently, how we made it, a few tips, and what we added that makes ours a little different, more unique than others you may have seen.

DIY Light Up Lava Lamp

This is such an exciting, fun, and simple science experiment for kids of all ages, and you probably already have everything you need to make a DIY lava lamp at home now. There is a very simple “glitter lamp” version of this project you can do as well using only glitter and baby/vegetable oil, but to make an interesting and safe lava lamp effect like the one shown in the video and photos below you’ll need to add a couple more things.

You’ll need:

A clear jar/bottle


Clear oil baby oil or vegetable oil works well


Food coloring (optional)

Glitter (optional)

Water beads (optional) we used a mix of colors and sizes

Before doing any experiment we grab our science note book to practice using the scientific method. The kids write out a few questions. form a hypothesis. and make their predictions! The questions we asked for this experiment are:

Why does the Alka-Seltzer act the way it does when added?

Is the food coloring in the oil or the water?

How can you tell what the food coloring is in?

Is food coloring polar or nonpolar?

To make things even easier on ya’ll, you can find our answers to these questions below!

These DIY lava lamps are incredibly easy to do! Ready? Ok then, let’s be scientist! Add a little water to your bottle (the photos below show a good example of how much water/oil to use) roughly 1/4 the size of the bottle give or take a little. Drop in your water beads (you can find the water beads we used on the Amazon shopping list below or by clicking HERE) if you chose to use any. We let ours expand a but before putting them in but however you decide will work out great! Next, pour the oil in gently, making sure to leave some space at the top of your bottle. Add a small drop of the food coloring, and glitter if you have decided to use them. A lot of people add the glitter and coloring before the oil, but we chose to add it after so we could watch the effect of them slowly dropping through the oil to the water. It’s a very cool thing for the kids to watch! Whenever you and your little ones are ready, break one of the Alka-Seltzer tablets in half and drop it into the bottle to activate the lava lamp. The bigger the piece you use the better effect you’ll get, but be carful it can spill over. I recommend doing that last part in a container/bowl or outside just in case. You can mix the contents of the bottle a little before adding the Alka-Seltzer as we did, or not at all and just let the Alka-Seltzer do it’s thing! Mixing it and then letting it settle is also a pretty cool thing to see for the little ones, and it will help you answer some of the questions above! I hope your lava/glitter lamps are as fun for ya’ll as ours were to us!

To add the light effect like we did (shown in the video), you can buy LED coasters on Amazon. There are several styles to choose from and they aren’t very expensive. Click the photo below to be directed to the peel and stick ones we bought.

If you’re looking for more summer fun ideas CLICK HERE!!

Answers for the questions above:

What’s happening here and why? Water is a polar molecule, while oil is nonpolar. Polar molecules stick to each other, but not to nonpolar molecules. Oil and water don’t mix! The oil is less dense than water, so it floats on top.

Why does the Alka-Seltzer act the way it does when added? When Alka-Seltzer is added to water, the water allows the acid and base powders to react together. The reaction produces carbon dioxide gas released as bubbles, and sodium citrate salt. If you drop some into water only you’ll see it on the bottom of the glass after the reaction.

Is the food coloring in the oil or the water? It’s in the water. It doesn’t mix with the oil, which is why you get the bubble effect of the colored watch floating through the oil!

How can you tell? If you let the bottle settle you’ll see that only the water remains colored!

Is food coloring polar or nonpolar? It’s polar, which is why it mixes with the water!

As some of you know, we school year round, however we do kind of a slow down in the summer months. We lean on our favorite educational apps (you can check them & more out HERE) more since we are on the go more and don’t want the kids to fall behind. We have more half days than full and a lot more free study (letting the kids choose what subjects/activities they’d like to focus on most), and we do A LOT more hands on activities and experiments. Don’t worry, packs will still be sent out, but you’ll also be seeing a lot more of our favorite summer activities and adventures! Hopefully you’ll find something useful and maybe even some new fun things for your summer days among this and the upcoming post!

All Available Themes

Click any of the themes below to be quickly redirected to the page/post containing all of the FREE downloads currently available in your desired theme, as well as any crafts or other shared materials, info, videos etc that may also be useful in that theme! Remember, you can click the pack images to preview the contents of each pack before downloading.

Amazon Shopping List

I want to make it very clear that I do NOT get paid to promote anything on the lists in anyway, nor does anyone I know. The products are not sent to me/friends/family to review. I have found and used/researched these on my own. I spend a significant amount of time each month on amazon searching around to find the best products to aid in our homeschool journey at the best deals! Now you can benefit from my hours of work as well! I have put together lists of teaching aids, books, kits and more that may prove useful and helpful on your homeschool journey as well! I have also put together a list of family matching clothing, shoes and accessories. Our youngest is very much into matching mom, so every spring we choose a few matching outfits and things that are always a big hit with our friends and family. Everything we have bought or simply just considered is on the list. Please note the sizes and colors displayed may not be the matching item. Also some things may say out of stock, however it may only be for the size and/or color that was selected when the item was added to the list. Click on the item to check the availability of your desired sizes/colors for sure.

AGIAN, I want to make it very clear that I do not get paid to promote anything on the lists in anyway, nor does anyone I know. The products are not sent to me/friends/family to review. I have personally researched and/or used everything on the lists above myself, (aside from the family marching products, some of those were considered and viewed but not purchased) which is why I feel comfortable recommending these items to you. If anyone finds a recalled or poorly reviewed product on the list that I may have somehow missed PLEASE contact me and let me know! I hope you find these list and their contents as useful, helpful, and fun as we have! If there’s a type of shopping list you’d like to see created please feel free to send me the request and I will do my best to set it up asap! Enjoy and happy teaching!

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Thank You Everyone!

I greatly appreciate everyone’s support! I honestly do work hard on all of this, so I am so happy it’s helped so many people! If you like what I’m doing here please continue the support and spread the word, pay it forward, help me reach as many people as possible so they to can enjoy and benefit from the FREE downloads and other things I offer every week! Thank you for following me on this crazy, but still incredibly wonderful journey! I hope you get something out of this, big or small.

Keep learning! Keep teaching! Be happy! Enjoy!

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