Learn how to make a bee sensory bottle with the kids. It’s a great addition to a preschool insect theme or a unit all about bees.
I think it’s a great idea to have sensory bottles on rotation in early childhood classrooms. They’re a wonderful way to engage the children during a wide variety of preschool themes.
But they don’t have to just be on rotation. If your students are anything like mine have been in the past, they won’t want to part with some of the sensory jars!
AND keep in mind that sensory bottles don’t always have to match a theme. They can be made to address specific learning concepts (like colors), or just because you and the kids want to make them!
Bee Sensory Bottle
So, while I think this bee sensory bottle is great for a bee theme, it’s also great just because you want to make it!
Read below for how to make our version of the bee jar!
Related: I Spy Insect Sensory Bottle
Discovery Jar Materials
These are the ingredients for the bee sensory jar pictured here. Please remember that you can tweak yours any way you’d like!
In fact, I’ll share some alternative ideas at the end of the post. Or you can come up with something completely different using the materials you have in your teacher stash.
Related: Simple Spring Activities
Here’s what we used in our jar:
- 16.9-ounce clear bottle
- 5-ounce bottle of clear glue
- Warm water
- Bee buttons
- Yellow and black pompoms
- Yellow and black foil glitter
- Tape or hot glue to seal the lid (optional)
How to Make a Bee Sensory Bottle
Your students can definitely help you put this sensory jar together! You can integrate a lot of early learning concepts throughout the process. Plus, it’s just a fun classroom experience.
Start by pouring all of the glue into a clean, empty bottle or jar. If you’re using a bottle of glue, the kids can really work on their hand strength. Otherwise, the kids can help you measure out just the right amount (5 ounces) of glue.
Oh, and I suggest you use a funnel when adding the glue to the bottle. Unless you have a steady hand. Which I very much don’t!
Next, add the yellow and black foil glitter. Again, I recommend a funnel for this part.
Related: Super Simple Insect Small World Play
Follow that by dropping the bee buttons into the bottle. Such great fine motor work for the kids, if they’re helping. You can also have the children count as they drop the bees into the bottle!
Yellow and black pompoms are next! As with the buttons, this can be a great fine motor and counting activity for the kids.
The final addition to the bee sensory bottle is warm water. Fill the rest of the jar up with the water.
Then put the top on the bottle. If you’d like to, you can use tape or glue (or both) to seal the top. This will help reduce the likelihood of a wet mishap down the line.
Shake everything up and watch as the materials float and settle. Since the glitter, pompoms, and buttons are all different weights, they’ll settle at different rates.
What the Children Learn from the Bee Sensory Bottle
The bee sensory bottle has a lot of learning opportunities! Here are some of the skills kids can explore:
- Sensory exploration (especially sight)
- Fine motor skills
- Color identification
- Descriptive vocabulary
Related: Coffee and Flower Sensory Bin
And of course that’s not the full extent of the learning the bee bottles provide! Especially if you’re teaching an insect or bee unit alongside the jars.
Extension Ideas for the Bee Discovery Jar
As I mentioned earlier, you can definitely make your own bee sensory bottle differently than I’ve described here.
Here are a few different ways to do so:
- Use black and yellow water beads to fill the bottle.
- Black and yellow pony beads would make a great dry sensory bottle.
- Consider dyeing rice and using that as a sensory filler.
In addition to using different fillers, you can also make a few additions to the bee jar. Some ideas for you:
- Add alphabet beads to the bottle. Challenge the children to find every letter of the alphabet (or every letter in their names).
- Do the same but with number beads.
- Make multiple bee sensory jars, using a different amount of glue in each one. Have the children make observations about any difference they see. You can even break out the timers and record how long it takes for the bottles to settle.
As you can see, there are many directions you can take. If you make a bee sensory bottle with your students, let me know how it goes!
More Bee Activities
If your students enjoy making the bee sensory bottle, they’ll probably get a kick out of these activities, too:
- Pollen Transfer Fine Motor Activity from ABCs to ACTs
- Bee Pollen Counting Activity from Modern Preschool
- Preschool Bee Craft from Homeschool Preschool
- Mason Bee Habitat from Natural Beach Living
- Beehive Counting Cards Sensory Tray from Montessori From the Heart
- Honey Playdough from Teaching Mama
- Bee Finger Puppets from I Heart Crafty Things
Done-For-You Preschool Resources
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Watch the video below to learn about our insect-themed lesson plans. Then, click on the image under that to read more about the product.
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