Boredom Buster: Bottle Play
When I was a child, I remember my mom keeping an older set of glass Coca Cola bottles in the garage that we got out on occasion to play with. We usually made them musical, filling with water and blowing over them like flutes, or clinking them with spoons. We felt super accomplished if we could fill the water just right to make the notes for an actual tune like “Row Row Your Boat.”
Recycling was suspended for a while where I live, and I was inspired by the plethora of plastic bottles hanging out in limbo in our recycle bin to try to re-create this childhood activity with my four-year-old daughter. We washed and filled the empty plastic bottles with various levels of water and even added food coloring for extra pizzazz. My daughter blew and blew and blew over our “rainbow flutes” to try to make some music. After a lot of spit and effort with little results, she decided to taste each of the colors of water to see if there was a difference. According to her, pink water tastes different from green. Then, we decided to mix the various colors into a bowl and use the bottles instead for experiments. That proved to be a lot of fun! Since then, we’ve been using those bottle for a variety of home “essperiments” as my four year old calls them. We’ve done a variety of play activities and simple experiments using water, baking soda, vinegar, food coloring, measuring cups and spoons. Bath time is an especially good time for bottle experiments. I try to ask her what she notices about her actions with the bottles and her observations are fascinating. My daughter hasn’t struck a good note on the bottles, but still tries blowing over the openings and occasionally hums notes over the bottles to try to force the music out of them. She may not be a budding flutist, but a future in chemistry looks promising.
If you have empty bottles and boxes, consider donating them to the use of science & craft boredom-busting. Maybe you’ll have musical luck blowing on rainbow flutes, or find that your food coloring does indeed have a slight flavor. Try typing “craft” or “experiments” when searching on Hoopla or Libby, and you’ll find a ton of resources to check out with great ideas for household items that have step by step instructions. Plus, you won’t have to scroll through a million ads or subscribe to a perfect mommy blog that accosts you with sugar-free muffin recipes.