I love it when I find a new sensory bottle to tantalize my preschoolers. My two newest discovery bottles are magnetic, and my class is over the moon for them! They are a cinch to make, and they are absolutely entertaining for older kids and safe for toddlers as well.
I’ve made magnetic sensory bottles in the past, but the magnetic attraction wasn’t as strong as I would like. So I came up with some extra powerful magnetic discovery bottles.
Here’s the first one.
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I just love how the chips flow and gently glide through the bottle with the help of a magnetic wand!
Here’s what you need:
- Water! This is the ingredient that makes this work so well (Water does rust the chips, but there is a solution that I figured out in my Rust Resistant Discovery Bottles)
- VOSS plastic water bottle or sleek water bottle from the grocery store
- Magnet Chips
- Magnetic wand
- Hot glue or super glue
I used my entire pack of magnetic chips from the Super Magnet Kit Lab, so there are about 100 chips in my bottle. If you are just looking for the chips, you can find them here from Discount School Supply. I’ve probably misplaced a few along the way, so maybe not quite 100, but close! Add as much water as desired, then super glue or hot glue the lid on for little ones who could choke on the magnet chips. For my preschoolers I don’t glue the lid shut, and we empty the bottle out each weekend to preserve the life of the magnets.
Here’s how magnetic chips work without any water:
Now here’s how much stronger the magnetic attraction is between the magnet wand and magnetic chips with the water:
Since magnetic chips are lightweight, they are the perfect magnet to go inside the sensory bottle! I’m sure these would look awesome with some glitter mixed in or on a light table too!
We air dry our magnetic chips every weekend to prolong their life and prevent rust.
Update: We have now found a way to make a long term, rust resistant magnetic discover bottle. You can read it about it here.
Now for the second discovery bottle. I like to think of it as a bottle of swirly, whirly, striped goodness!
Just make the bottle with the directions from above and swap out the magnetic chips. For this discovery bottle, I added some chenille stems also known as pipe cleaners. I curled them around a pencil and cut them in half or in thirds. Don’t you love the stripes? This is my ultimate favorite pattern on pipe cleaners! I bought these at Discount School Supply simply by searching “striped pipe cleaner.”
This one was so much fun to play with too! When we experimented without water, they hardly even budged at this size. I love how the water makes this so magic and so “floatable.” Yes, I definitely just made that word up.
The chenille stems do become rusty, so this is more of a short term discovery bottle. We had a blast though, and it’s so easy to make that it is definitely worth trying.
Here are some more great sensory bottles:
6 Ways to Make a Calm Down Jar