In an attempt to keep my kids entertained and engaged this summer as well as retain some of my sanity, I’m trying to stick with simple activities and projects that don’t take too much time to prep.  This ocean in a bottle experiment completely fascinated my kids and they kept coming back to it throughout the day to shake their bottle up and watch the glitter swirl and the water and oil separate.  It took me less than five minutes to gather the supplies and five minutes more to help each of them create their own ocean in a bottle.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

See?  Super simple and it uses things you already have at home. #doublewin

To make your own ocean in a bottle, grab a bottle that has a lid.  We used some regular size plastic water bottles, but you could also make these out of mini water bottles or a 2-liter bottle.  The idea is that you want a container that is see through and resealable.

Next fill it about 1/3 to 1/2 full of water.  Squeeze a few drops of food coloring into the water, reseal the lid and shake it around.  Then, use a funnel to pour some glitter into the bottles, reseal the bottle and shake that around as well.

Now, grab your vegetable oil and fill the bottle up to the top and reseal.  (I’d recommend gluing the lid on so it can’t be reopened.)

Lastly, shake it up!  My kids loved trying to get the water and oil to mix, only to watch it separate.  The glitter added a fun aspect to it because they could see the movement of the water and oil.

Besides just letting your kids watch the water and oil mix and separate, you could also use the ocean in a bottle for:

  • A fun and simple kid science experiment where you talk about why water and oil don’t mix.
  • Incorporate it into your home school curriculum. 
  • Use it as a calm down bottle.
  • Treat it like a timer where you shake it and your child has to try and beat it or finish a particular chore before it separates again.

Also, because this is the second Wednesday of the month, that means it’s time for another round of Inspire My Creativity!  If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you know that once a month I join up with 15 other crafty and creative bloggers to share a project with you based on a theme.  This month the theme is the color BLUE and I have to say that I’ve been really impressed with all the projects that have been shared so far.  I encourage you to check out the links below and get inspired!

Meg  |  See The Happy
Candice  |  She’s Crafty
Jaclyn  |  The Dotted Nest
Victoria  |  Dazzle While Frazzled
Julia  |  The Quiet Grove
Stephanie  |  The Gifty Girl
Brooke  |  My Beautiful Mess
Heather  |  Glitter On A Dime
Niki  |  365 Days of Crafts
Jessica  |  Designers Sweet Spot

Next month, the theme will be BACK TO SCHOOL.  (Can you believe it’s already time to start thinking about that?)


  1. How fun! We made these during ocean week for my camp, but we used baby oil instead of cooking oil. The whole room smelled like babies, lol. Since we used 2 1-liter bottles, we have kept them on display all summer and the kids just love to shake them up and let them settle over and over again. -Marie

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