Do you love to watch the waves roll in on a breezy ocean day? Or have you witnessed the power of waves during a storm? Have you ever wondered what causes ocean waves? Create an ocean wave bottle as a fun way to demonstrate a little bit about how waves work. Combine learning about the ocean with a visually appealing sensory bottle for fun and playful learning for kids.
MAKE OCEAN WAVES IN A BOTTLE ACTIVITY FOR KIDS!
Get ready to explore ocean waves for your next ocean science activity this season with a homemade ocean waves in a bottle. If you want to learn more about what causes oceans waves, let’s get started. Just a few simple materials and you can make an ocean in a bottle. While you’re at it, make sure to check out our other fun ocean activities.
Our science activities and experiments are designed with you, the parent or teacher, in mind! Easy to set up, quick to do, most activities will take only 15 to 30 minutes to complete and are heaps of fun! Plus, our supplies lists usually contain only free or cheap materials you can source from home!
OCEAN WAVES IN A BOTTLE
Let’s explore ocean waves! Even if you can’t get outside to see the real thing or you don’t live near an ocean, you can make your own ocean waves in a bottle.
YOU WILL NEED:
Mason jar or plastic water bottle
Vegetable oil or baby oil
Blue food coloring
OCEAN WAVES IN A BOTTLE SET UP:
STEP 1: Fill your container 1/2 way with water and add as much blue food coloring as desired.
STEP 2: Fill the rest of the container up with baby oil or vegetable oil. Try and fill the container as full as possible, reducing the amount of airspace that will be left after you screw on the lid or cap.
STEP 3: Cap tightly!
STEP 4: To make a wave tilt and gently shake your ocean in a bottle! Watch the wave action in your sea.
This ocean waves in a bottle activity is perfect to pair with our beach erosion demonstration or our ocean currents model!
If you are making this with a group of kids, Gatorade or VOSS style water bottles will also work. You can hot glue the caps on to prevent spills. It’s still best not to drop the bottles on the ground!
Try to avoid shaking roughly as this will distort the surface between the oil and water with little bubbles of partially incorporated oil & water. Over time, the oil and water will separate again due to their different densities. Water is heavier than oil because it’s made up of a different amount of molecules.
WHAT CAUSES OCEAN WAVES?
Obviously, waves are not caused by oil floating on water. However this ocean waves in a bottle activity is a good picture of the movement of ocean waves.
Ocean waves are created by energy moving through the ocean water. Most of the time, the energy comes from wind blowing on and disturbing the surface of the water. Other things cause ocean waves too such as the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon. This causes tidal waves or tides!
When you move the bottle, you’re seeing energy move through the water to make waves, just like out in the ocean! Did you know if a wave doesn’t have anything to stop it, it can travel far distances?
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR OCEANS
- Beach Erosion Activity
- Layers of the Ocean
- How Do Whales Stay Warm?
- Oil Spill Cleanup Experiment
- Ocean Acidification: Seashells In Vinegar Experiment
- Fun Facts About Narwhals
- Ocean Currents Activity
OCEAN WAVES IN A BOTTLE FOR OCEAN THEME!
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