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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Make An Underwater Wonderland

Written by  Esther Boylan Wolfson

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Time needed: 15 minutes
Appropriate for ages: 3 and up


  • An empty plastic bottle from purchased mineral water (or any other empty, plastic see-through container with a secure cover.) You can decide if you want a small or a large one. The activity will work with both.
  • Glitter
  • Tinsel
  • A few marbles or beads that you don't need
  • Blue Food Coloring
  • Optional: Colored plastic sheet or cellophane that can be cut into shapes (can be purchased in a craft store)


  1. Remove the label from the bottle. If the bottle was not used for water, wash it.

  2. Fill the bottle halfway with water.

  3. Put in a few drops of blue food coloring, until the water turns a light blue color.

  4. Put a few marbles or beads into the bottle.

  5. Cut tinsel into small pieces.

  6. Put the pieces of tinsel and some glitter into the bottle.

  7. If you have some pieces of colored plastic or cellophane, then cut out some small shapes. You can make some fish and add them to the bottle. If you don't have this material, don't worry.

  8. Screw the cap on tightly. Just in case, put some tape around the edges so no water can come out.

  9. Have your child turn the bottle upside down and shake it. Turn it right side up again and watch what happens with your child.


  • Why did the water turn blue?
  • What happens when you turn the bottle upside down? Why?


  • Talk with your child about what materials you have around the house that you could add into your "underwater wonderland." In order to help decide, place the objects your child thinks of into a bowl of water and see what happens. Discuss why items that are plastic will work and items that are paper will not

  • You can do the same activity with different colors of food coloring. I like to start with blue, since it's the color of the sky and water, but the activity works with all colors. Let your child choose a different color and compare the two bottles. Ask her which one looks prettier and which she likes best.

Last modified on Sunday, 26 August 2012 11:31
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Esther Boylan Wolfson

Esther Boylan Wolfson

Esther Wolfson , director of our Early Childhood Development Center is an Early Childhood Specialist, who received her BA in English Communications from Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University and an MA in Early Childhood Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, both in New York City. Esther worked as a pre-school special education teacher for seven years. Three of those years were spent working in a school for language delayed pre-schoolers, which is her area of specialty. Another special love of hers is cooking with young children. One of her most enjoyable projects was developing a program for cooking with pre-school children for three special education programs. Esther and her husband Myles have three boys aged eight, five and two-years-old. While her three lively boys and her work at WholeFamily, keep her quite busy, in her spare time (if she ever has any!) she is an avid reader who also enjoys creative writing, exercising and swimming.

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