After a recent bottle sailboat craft with Travis, I had a few small seashells left over – much to small to hand to a nine-month-old who puts everything in her mouth. I knew immediately that I could make her a baby-safe version of big brother’s boat by sealing her shells inside an ocean sensory bottle!
My original intention was to use a bottle for the craft, but the small toy fish I included were too large to fit through the opening. Small Tupperware containers worked in a pinch, and probably were easier for her to handle anyway.
Whatever container you use, fill it about 2/3 full with water. Add small seashells and plastic fish to make an “ocean.”
As Veronika watched, I tinted the water blue with food coloring. This is a magical change for a baby to watch, so make sure he or she doesn’t miss it!
Secure the lid on the bottle or container tightly, and hand over the “ocean”. Veronika loved shaking this and seeing the fish swim.
As well as tasting it of course.
Or turning it upside down.
The taller bottle (with just shells) was a fun way to show her “waves”; I tilted it back and forth and she could watch the shells move about and then settle.
In sum, a fun ocean sensory experience even on a summer day when we can’t get to the beach!
Update: I later added little pieces of tinfoil (twisted to look a bit like “fish”) to the bottle.
She loved watching them swim around.