What’s your favorite color? Mine is purple. M’s is blue. Yours is… Well, that’s the color you’ll be making these adorable little discovery bottles! This is more than just a DIY calming toy – it’s a full hour (at least) fine motor activity for toddlers and preschoolers, that pretty much uses whatever you have… Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
To celebrate the launch of the new book “What’s Your Favorite Color?” by Eric Carle and other renowned authors, I joined with a few other bloggers to create activities inspired by the book.
Naturally this book is a great lead-in for color learning, or summing up color learning, and a perfect way to open discussion as to your child’s favorite color.
I turned them into monsters just for fun (I really couldn’t resist…) but you totally don’t need to. These discovery bottles are great as is.
If your child is likely to open it, you can hot glue the discovery bottles closed. Otherwise, it’s really as simple as filling the bottle and then naming what’s inside.
M loves finding and pointing out the shapes. Since it’s totally contained, it’s a perfect travel activity.
As he grows older and wiser, the discovery bottles grow with him. As he learns the alphabet beyond letter recognition, I can challenge him to “find something that begins with the letter B” for example. Meanwhile, he loves just observing, shaking, and talking about it.
What we used to make favorite color discovery bottles
- Filler: we used raffia in one and yarn in the other
- Odd assorted craft materials: either pull out what you have (or have your child hunt the house for small items that are dispensable). If you don’t have an established stash, start with something like this (this is what I have) or like this. From there, I added some colored wooden beads, colorful paper clips, and anything else I found that had different colors mixed together.
- The bottle: Ages ago, I got these to use in discovery bottles. If you have nice looking/clean bottles to upcycle those can work as well. Another popular choice is VOSS water bottles.
- Optional: a permanent marker to draw on monster features, and googly eyes. You might also want a glue gun to seal it shut.
How we made discovery bottles as a child-led color practice activity:
Watch the video below, or scroll down for step-by-step instructions:
I started out by setting up the items that I thought would be cool for these discovery bottles. You can see it’s totally an “anything goes” project.
M naturally chose blue as his favorite color, and began by stuffing in some yarn for filler (raffia is harder for young kids, especially those who are still working on those fine motor skills.)
Make sure to leave some space to fill it in! I had to remove some of the raffia from the photo below.
From there, M chose whatever he wanted – as long as it was blue! He named the items as he added them to the jar, and really took his time with it.
Granted, a yellow thing or two made its way in, and he got upset. But we were able to practice being okay if things aren’t perfect, and letting go of the anxiety associated with potentially making mistakes.
He had lots of fun with the materials themselves – stacking the sequins, linking the paper clips, before adding them to his discovery bottles.
When he decided he had enough, he added the lid.
And I added some googly eyes and monster features… totally optional, of course.
And now M has a fun DIY toy that he made himself. Don’t you just love a kids craft that’s actually functional when you’re done?
Of course, you can even make a whole rainbow of them, in which case this turns into a sorting activity…
What’s your child’s favorite color? Which color will (s)he be making these favorite color discovery bottles in? Comment below!
Get the rest of the activities inspired by “What’s Your Favorite Color?” below:
Color Activities for Preschoolers | Playground Parkbench
Guess the Color Game for Kids (Free Printable) | Sunny Day Family
Favorite Color Sensory Bin | Busy Toddler
Rainbow Q-tip Art Printable | Fun With Mama
Splat Painting with Cotton Balls | Craftulate