Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
There are so many beautiful things around us, especially in the summer, so sometimes we take them for granted. It was fun to look closer and discover them anew! For these nature discovery bottles, we walked around our backyard and gardens, looking for small treasures that would fit in the bottle. You’re also sure to like the Nature Letters, Exploring Seeds, and Tree Age Ring Art.
Nature Discovery Bottles
Experience Early Learning provides us with 5 STEAM Station ideas each week that coordinate with our lessons. These activities often are the most inspiring and exciting for me as a provider and I believe for my group. Read STEAM Based Learning in Preschool and Noodle Brain STEAM Station for more information on setting up STEAM Stations. We all enjoyed this one from the EcoVenture theme.
We used these plastic bottles for our nature discovery bottles. They do not leak when filled with water. I didn’t glue or tape our bottles shut but they could be if desired.
It was fun to see what everyone found for their bottles. What a cute discovery this was! See the center picture below – this two-year-old pulled a big stem from the daylily plant and tried to put it in his jar. It was neat to see his realization that it didn’t fit and it wouldn’t work. He pulled it out on his own.
What can we find in the tree? Leaves, branches, and berries! They also found seed pods, flower petals, fern, herbs, birdseed, raspberries, leaves, sticks, different types of plants, bark, and grass.
After they decided their bottles were full, we poured in water to fill the space around the nature items. It’s lovely to see the older ones helping the younger ones without being asked. Just one of the benefits of a mixed-age group!
Look how pretty the nature items look in the water!
Each nature sensory bottle looked a little different but all beautiful.
The Big Question for this activity was: What happens to the items when you turn the bottle over?
Some things float and some sink. There are also bubbles that move through the water. Some of the plants may look brighter colored in the water too. This was such a fabulous summer activity for my mixed age group!
It’s true the nature items inside the bottle will not last long. After a few days, the water will begin to get cloudy and the leaves and flowers disintegrate, but that is a science experiment in itself! Watch it and see what happens. My group enjoyed collecting the nature items so much, the activity was worth the short-termness of the bottle. Like we say in art, it’s about the process, not the product.
More Nature Activities
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