2 years old

Submarine in a Bottle


Ethan absolutely loves submarines, they are such fascinating vehicles, I think it's his dream to go in a real one someday.  He is always drawing pictures of submarines and telling me all about the periscope and all of the things that they can do, so today we decided to make a submarine in a bottle!  I love slow moving sensory bottles and calm down jars and have been enjoying making them for the kids to play with and explore, so this seemed the perfect way of combining the two loves.

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What you'll need:

I looked into many different methods of making these slow moving sensory bottles and calm down jars before making my first one (these Easter sensory bottles) and found that many of the methods involved materials that weren't available in the UK, so I use clear hand soap, which may not be the easiest to work with (because of the bubbles) but it is something that people should be able to find anywhere.  So I use approximately 1/3 water to 2/3 clear hand soap to make a nice slow moving sensory bottle.  I start by adding the water to the mixing jug then adding the blue food colouring and blue glitter glue and getting Ethan to whisk them all around and make the water nice and blue like the sea.

Next Ethan poured in two bottles of hand soap, and whisked that around gently as well, so we didn't make too many bubbles in our jug.  I then used the funnel to pour about 3/4 of the mixture into the plastic bottle.  I will admit that using the funnel was a mistake as it caused a lot of bubbles to form, and the top of the bottle was actually large enough to pour directly from the jug.  In future I would try that first to avoid the bubbles.

Next Ethan sprinkled in some of the fish confetti.  He named all of the different sea life as he put in the fish, seahorses, starfish and clams.  These add a bit of colour and fun to our submarine bottle.

Finally we carefully curled our foam submarine and tucked it into the bottle as well.  Then I carefully poured the rest of the mixture into the bottle and waited for the foam to disappear. I left a bit of air at the top of the bottle to begin with, but then discovered that more bubbles would form so ended up topping the bottle up with water to fill it to the top before gluing the lid on. 

The submarine can then move back and forth across the bottle when it is tipped and shaken.  The glitter and confetti also fall slowly from one end to the other, making it very calming and relaxing to watch.

The kids both enjoy playing with the bottle and watching the contents move around.  They both shake it all up and can then identify the different fish that they can see.  I can also challenge Ethan to try to control the submarine and make it float around the bottle in different directions.

The submarine does float as it is made of foam, so I am tempted to try again but this time weigh the submarine down a little bit so that it will move through the middle of the bottle. Watch this space!

This post is part of a Quirkly Blog Hop celebrating International Submarine Day which is coming up on 17th March, look at all these incredible submarine ideas!

Join us as we celebrate International Submarine Day - 17th March with a whole host of some wonderful submarine activities, crafts and play ideas from around the globe!

Adventures of Adam shares a brilliant Plastic Egg Submarine idea
A great Submarine Pretend Play Periscope idea from Peakle Pie
Try making a Yellow Submarine Collage inspired by Witty Hoots
Pray Species shares an interesting idea with their Submarine Preschool Fun with Foam
Homemade Under the Sea Battleships is another great idea from Kiddy Charts. Use stones and a chess board to make your own battleship under the sea themed game!
Brain Power Boy makes some Perler Beads Submarines that look great and are a super craft too!
The Truck that Wanted to Be a Submarine is a lovely class book review from Kelly’s Classroom
Play and Learn Every Day make and explore a Submarine in a Bottle!
An Easy Submarine for Kids to Make sounds like amazing fun from The Usual Mayhem

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