This corn sensory bottle filled with rainbow popcorn kernels lets children explore colors, their senses, and many other early learning skills.
Related: Thanksgiving Activities for Preschoolers
Because the main focal point of this activity is corn, it’s a wonderful opportunity to talk about the fall harvest. What a great addition to your list of fall activities for preschoolers.
Discovery bottles like this one are an amazing tool in the early childhood classroom.
They’re interesting and appeal to more than one of the five senses, which keeps the children engaged and learning over a period of time.
You can change up the theme of the sensory bottles to coordinate with preschool themes, kids’ interests, seasons, holidays, etc.
Plus, they’re awesome at helping children learn how to self-regulate.
I could go on and on about the endless possibilities with this activity, but I’ll stop there.
Rainbow Corn Sensory Bottle
Corn is such fun to use with students. It is so versatile – we have even had a blast with a corn painting process art activity. The possibilities with corn in the classroom really are limitless.
Years ago, I made it my mission to determine how to dye corn in such a way that it would yield richly colored kernels.
After many failed attempts, I finally got the method figured out! Since then, we’ve used the colorful corn in a wide variety of activities, including a simple corn sensory bottle.
As I just mentioned, this is a rather simple corn sensory bottle. You definitely don’t need many materials to get started. Here’s what we used (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Colored popcorn kernels (click to learn how to make your own)
- Empty bottle
- Colorful pompoms
Like I said, you really don’t need much! If you want to keep it even simpler, just add rainbow corn to an empty bottle. We made our own dyed corn, but you can replace that with multi-colored corn kernels if you’d prefer.
If you want to spice it up a little bit, you can add other items. Consider placing alphabet beads, craft gems or mini erasers in with the colorful corn too.
How to Make a Rainbow Popcorn Sensory Bottle
I highly suggest that you incorporate the kids into this process! They’ll enjoy making some sensory bottles for their classroom.
First, make sure you start off with a clean and dry bottle. Since this corn sensory bottle is filled with dry ingredients, any dampness could ruin the materials.
After that, add the rainbow corn to the bottle! If you’re using a wide-mouth bottle, pour the corn in a little at a time.
If your bottle has a narrower opening, I recommend grabbing a funnel. This will make the entire process a lot easier, let me tell you!
Once the colorful corn has been added, start putting in your extra items (pompoms, etc.). If the kids are helping, this will give their little fingers a good workout.
Encourage the children to count the pompoms as they’re added to the corn sensory bottle if you want to work on some math skills along the way.
Finally, put the lid on the bottle. Since this isn’t a liquid-based sensory bottle, I’m not as worried about the top coming off.
In fact, sometimes it’s nice to let the children open the contents and pour them into a bin. If you and your students choose to go that route, students can practice the skills of sorting colors, pouring , or measuring like we did in this rainbow corn sensory bin.
Related: Corn Mosaic Art Using Dyed Popcorn Kernels
Then they can make a game of putting everything back into the bottle again.
However, if you’re concerned about the top coming off you can always secure it with glue or tape.
Now you have your very own rainbow corn sensory bottle!
Learning with the Corn Kernel Discovery Bottle
It may be simple, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a treasure trove of learning to be had with this corn sensory bottle.
Now, I don’t want to discount how important the fun aspect of this sensory bottle is. There’s nothing wrong with “just playing” and having fun. In fact, I think playing and having fun is imperative for kids (and adults!) of all ages.
That being said, even playful activities like this one allow for quite a bit of learning. Here are some of the skills kids can practice and explore while engaging with the rainbow sensory bottle:
- Color identification
- Color words
- Descriptive vocabulary
- Their senses (particularly hearing, touch, and sight)
- Fine motor skills
- Visual discrimination
And that’s not even an exhaustive list! So rest assured that your students are learning as they use the rainbow sensory bottle.
Be sure to leave me a comment below if you get the chance to try this colorful corn sensory bottle with your students.
Corn and Popcorn Books for Preschoolers
Just in case you’re looking for some books for extending the corn/popcorn learning, I put together a few book suggestions.
I think these books pair well with the corn sensory bottle, so you might want to read them after you make the bottle with your students.
Feel free to let me know if you have any favorite corn or popcorn books for kids.
Done-for-you Preschool Resources
Looking for more comprehensive lesson plans and ideas? Check out Preschool Teacher 101 for full lesson plans with printables included.
Click on the images below to find out more about the resources below, which include daily activity ideas for group activities, literacy, math, and science for an entire week!
There are also has a variety of membership options with Preschool Teacher 101 that will cater to your individual needs. Click on the images below to find out more about these dramatic play resources!
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