Alphabet Discovery Bottle

I am seriously addicted to the mesmerizing sensory bottles. At one point, I had a calm down jar that I “tested out” for an entire week before I gave it to my class, so I am always thrilled for the next irresistible find. The discovery bottle that I am showing to you today is one of my all-time favorites, and it has that nice slow and gentle flow to it. It’s the kind that I could just watch for hours. Now you all know why I’m a preschool teacher — I just want to stare at discovery bottles all day!

Alphabet Calm Down Bottle by Preschool Inspirations


Here’s our alphabet discovery bottle. I must say that the ABCs have never been so calming and relaxing!

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Alphabet Discovery Bottle by Preschool Inspirations-8

It takes 15 to 20 seconds for the letters to go to the other side of the bottle, and I love the slow somersaults they do as they float upward. We love just flipping it over and over as it calms and soothes.

  Alphabet Discovery Bottle by Preschool Inspirations-2

Alphabet Discovery Bottle by Preschool Inspirations-4

Here’s what you need to make your own:

A clean empty water bottle. I recommend one that is sturdy with a wide lid such as VOSS plastic water bottle since this is extra heavy for a sensory bottle. I didn’t use a VOSS one this time, and I definitely wish I would have.

Clear(ish) colored corn syrup

Big Letter Beads

Hot Water (just a teeny, tiny bit)

First, put the letter beads into the bottle. Next, add enough corn syrup on top of it that it covers about 80-85% of the inside of the bottle. Add a very slight amount of hot water and shake. Then continue to add corn syrup and water until you get your desired flow.

The ratio I used for my own bottle was about 95% corn syrup and 5% water.

Initially, your bottle will look “streaky” as the corn syrup settles. It can take a few hours to fully blend. I personally like the streaky swirls in the meantime!

Alphabet Discovery Bottle by Preschool Inspirations

Alphabet Discovery Bottle by Preschool Inspirations-3

While I used big letter lacing beads, most any plastic item would be a good substitute. I love the blend of literacy and science in this particular one because I am always trying to sneak in a love for reading.

This could also be used to help a child learn the letters of his name. A miniature bottle would be perfect to put them in.

Here are some of my other favorites:
Magnetic Discovery Bottle

Magnetic Discovery Bottles ~ Preschool Inspirations-13

6 Ways to Make a Calm Down Jar

6 Ways to Make a Calm Down Jar by Preschool Inspirations-34

How to Make a Color Mixing Sensory Bottle

Color Mixing Sensory Bottles


Follow Katie | Preschool Inspiration’s Discovery Bottles board on Pinterest.

And this is how we use letter beads in other ways:
Rainbow Sight Word Lacing Busy Bag

Rainbow Sight Word Lacing Busy Bag by Preschool Inspirations


  1. TheresJustOneMommy says

    Just made our first calm down bottle… This looks so fun! May need to try one of these next.

    • says

      Calm down bottles are soooo amazing, There’s Just One Mommy! Discovery bottles can be super addicting, in the best way possible of course :). It’s a pleasure to have you visit!

  2. Amy says

    I love the colors in this bottle. I’ve never done these jars before, how come you need to add water? Does it help the objects inside float better?

    • says

      Isn’t it so vibrant and fun, Amy! The water definitely helps them float at a quicker rate. You could always try one without any water and see which you prefer. Thank you for visiting :).

    • Katie says

      As long as you make sure to clean the letter beads (or use brand new ones), you can use them for a long time. Otherwise they could grow things if they are not clean, if you know what I mean!

      I’ve had several discovery bottles around for years, including this one. You may want to change the actual bottles out after time because they will get bent from being dropped or have fingerprint oil that takes away the sheen that they had in the past. That’s easy to do too though.

      I hope you enjoy making one :).


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