Discovery Bottles are intended to calm your child and reduce feelings of hurt, anger, and sadness. It is in no way a replacement for talking to your child about his or her feelings but can be a good calming method before discussion. It’s also good for rainy days, car rides, or just spending quality time creating something with your little one. So, with so many options out there why choose this Suspended Ocean Discovery Bottle? Simple, it’s easy to make and so much fun to explore! Even as an adult I find this homemade toy hard to put down.

Materials Needed:

Voss Platic Bottles or any kind you’d prefer. I like Voss for the size and the difference in how they label their bottles compared to other companies.

Ocean Creatures

These should be easy to find at a local Toy Store or on Amazon if all else fails.


This is to help get the sea creatures exactly where you want them positioned. Make sure to assist your child with this part and remember not to leave them unattended with the skewer.

Hair Gel

I scored a couple bottles from the Dollar Store. No need to get fancy since it’s going inside the bottle.

Blue Liquid Watercolor or Food Coloring (Optional)

Tape or Glue / Hot Glue Gun

This way the lid stays sealed on the bottle and theres no mess later on.

Discovery Bottle Craft


1. Empty the hair gel into a plastic Ziplock® baggy and add a very minimal amount of Liquid watercolor or a couple drops of Blue Food Coloring into the bag to mix. Even this part is fun! Remember to encourage play while mixing and talk about the science behind the color changing. If you want to keep it clear that’s okay too. My daughter and I used a bowl to mix and scooped it into the bottle and that worked just as well.

2. Cut a corner of the bag with the colored gel and squirt a small amount of gel into your clean, empty water bottle. 

3. Drop in a sea creature and adjust it to your liking with the skewer. 

4. Add more hair gel on top for the next layer and drop in another sea creature when ready. Repeat in layers.

5. Tape or hot glue the  lid shut and enjoy discovering a whole new world suspended in a bottle.

Bonus Learning Activity: Feel free to research some fun, educational facts to share with your kids about the sea and it’s living creatures. For example; did you know that a typical pet turtle can live between 10-80 years or so while a larger species can easily live to be over 100 years old. It is difficult to measure the age since it takes centuries but some guess that some sea turtles could be around 400-500 years old. Or the fact that dolphins are born tail first? There’s lots to learn and who better to learn along side with? Remember to ask your child questions and listen along the way. I hope you enjoy this Suspended Ocean Discovery Bottle as much as we have!