To make these fun bottles just get some growing sea life characters and some water bottles!! I used the growing sea life characters from Oriental Trading and Aqua Pod water bottles.
click HERE to see them at Oriental trading.
First you would wash out the water bottle, then carefully put the DRY growing sea life character into the bottle. Make sure it has not been exposed to water before you go to put it in otherwise it will not fit, unless you are using a bottle with a really wide mouth. Then after you have your sea life character in the bottle, fill it with cold water. Then you need to let it sit for 12-24 hours. Once it is grown to your desired size, or stops growing, then you can dump the water, refill with cold water again, but leave some space at the top.
Then if you want to you can add some already grown water beads, or beads, and some glitter. We used some blue water beads that we had already grown. Then we added some glitter. Then you need to check if you still have some space at the top of the bottle, if you do not then you need to dump out just a teeeeeeny tiny amount of the water. This way your sea life and water beads can move around in the bottle. Then after that you need to screw the lid on, without glue. Then after the lid is on, give it a shake or two so that you can stir that glitter up. While this is all happening, you should have your hot glue gun loaded and warming. Once you stir up that glitter, set your bottle down and take the lid back off.
Then use your hot glue gun to glue the lid on. You will need to hold the lid with one hand, upside down and glue along the underside of the lid on the inner edge. You will be gluing the part of the lid that screws into the neck of the bottle. Try to avoid putting glitter on the top underside of the lid. You want to avoid hot glue dropping into your discovery bottle. OK so once you have that glue lined on the inner edge of the underside of the lid, screw that baby on! Do this relatively fast, steadily, and evenly. Once you have the lid started screwing on, use a towel or the underside of your shirt to grip it and really screw that baby on!! You need to be timely with this or your lid will be glued on in a bad way, and cause leaks. BUT WAIT, what if you screwed it on a little sideways, well don't fret because you are going to reinforce that lid with more hot glue! OK now that your lid is glued and screwed on, pick up the bottle in one hand and your hot glue gun in the other hand, and go along the cracks and crevices of the bottle lid, What I like to do is go all around it where there is space between the lid and the lid seal that breaks when you first open the water bottle.
Then while the glue is still hot i dip my fingers into cold water and take my wet finger all around the bottle over the glue to smooth and flatten it out. You do not have to do this though. I then will check the bottle for any spaces left and do more touch up gluing. I go around that lid a good 2-3 times and flatten it with my finger dipped in cold water. I use a low temp hot glue gun, just for reference. I do not let my twins glue the lids on. I do let them help with the rest of the process. Once they are older, they can glue the lids on but it is a little too difficult for a child that age to properly glue the lids on. Once your bottle lid is securely glued on, shake it up and give it to your children to play with!! They are so much fun too, these are the most awesome discovery/sensory bottles we have ever made!!
They look awesome in a sunny window and on the light table! They are so fun to look at! My twins LOVE these so much that they wanted to make more right after they were done, so we did! We decided to also try out a large smart water bottle. I have no idea how that one is going to turn out but we added 6 sea life characters and they are currently in the bottle growing. I left a picture of it lying on it's side for a quick general idea of what it looks like.
There are also some slime bottle, bloop bottles, and water bead bottles in the mix of pics too!