Monsters don’t have to be scary. It can be fun to explore a monster theme in the early childhood years if kids show an interest, especially in the month of October. This Halloween, we are reading lots of books about not-so-scary monsters. As an extension to our learning, we created a monster sensory bottle from our monster theme lesson plan set. Discovery bottles are an excellent way to work on vocabulary, practice skills independently, or just simply provide a quiet calming activity. With our monster discovery bottle creation, I was even able to sneak in some math skills!
FIND EVEN MORE MONSTER THEME ACTIVITIES IN OUR PRINTABLE LESSON PLANS
FOR HOME PRESCHOOL AND PRESCHOOL CLASSROOMS.
Materials for Your Sensory Bottle
- clear bottle
- pipe cleaner
- googly eyes
- hot glue gun
- filler such as rice, beans, pom poms, etc.
- zip-top bag (optional)
- funnel (optional)
To make your monster discovery bottle, you will need to have a clear plastic or glass bottle with a secure lid. We chose to use an empty plastic VOSS water bottle. These bottles have a nice and smooth cylinder shape allowing full view and manipulation of discovery items. The possibilities are endless for what you wish to include inside of your discovery bottle. We chose to use colorful plastic numbers, tiny pom poms, and colored rice.
After gathering your materials, the first step in making your discovery bottle is to choose a filler item. To make our monster cheery and bright, we dyed some rice a monster-y lime green. Dying rice is surprisingly quick and painless! Just measure two cups of rice for a 1 pint water bottle and pour it into a gallon size zip-top bag. Using a two-to-one ratio for green and yellow food coloring, mix up 20 drops of yellow and 10 drops of green. After you have your desired color, add two tablespoons of vinegar to the food coloring mixture and then pour it into the bag of rice and seal. It was an added fun sensory activity to get to squish the colored rice all around in the bag!
After the color was evenly distributed, we poured it out onto a cookie sheet and set it outside in the sun to dry. Your rice mixture will be ready to use in just one hour.
Monster Sensory Bottle Creation
Incorporating children when creating learning materials gives them ownership over the materials as well as good hands-on learning. They were eager to help fill the monster with rice and grabbed handfuls to filter it down the funnel and into its belly! Using a funnel with the discovery bottle placed on top of a cookie sheet kept extra messes to a minimum.
Once your filler item fills 3/4 of the bottle, you can add the smaller discovery items. Slowly but surely, the colorful numbers and poms were added and it was time to create our monster.
Using pipe cleaner for the arms, we decided to make them striped by twisting two colors around each other. Twisting pipe cleaner is great fine motor practice for little hands!
Hot glue helped adhere the arms to the back side of bottle and we added a large orange pom pom to cover the pipe cleaner. Finally, it was decided that the monster needed three eyes and spiky hair, so we did just that. After trimming down some pipe cleaner, we were able to create some crazy spiky hair by hot gluing it onto the top of a large pom pom.
Discover and Play!
Our little monster has been quite a hit around here. We have had lots of fun practicing number and color recognition as well as counting. For some guided math practice and exploration, you may prompt questions such as:
How many pink balls do you see and can you find the matching number? or
Can you find the two numbers that make the number twelve?
Discovery bottles also make for great independent exploration. It is soothing to let the rice sift around and get lost in the colorful numbers and pom poms. I plan to keep the monster discovery bottle close by as we have shared reading time about monsters and use it as a conversation starter.
MORE MONSTER FUN WITH PRINTABLE MONSTER THEME LESSON PLANS
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
The full Monster Theme Lesson Plan Pack also includes:
1) Monster Calendar (or general number) Cards
2) Uppercase Monster Letter Cards
3) Lowercase Monster Letter Cards
4) Color Matching Monster Mats and Activity Pieces
5) Counting Monster Mats (1-10)
6) Roll and Count Monster Math Game Boards (6 versions)
7) Feed the Monster Templates
8) Monster Munchies Beginning Sound Cards
9) Number Cubes (6 versions) for Monster Math Activities
10) Roll-A-Monster Creative Art Activity Pieces and Game Cube
11) Monsters’ Healthy Choices Recording Sheet
12) Monster Hourse Beginning Sound Sort
13) Monster Number Cards(0-35)
14) Where Do Monsters Live Book Making Guide and Printable Pages
GET YOUR LESSON PLANS
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.