Firework Sensory Bottle – Fun Science

Whilst many of my fellow bloggers are looking excitedly towards Halloween, I must admit my mind has started venturing a bit further along the calendar and has settled firmly on Bonfire Night. If you’re not familiar with the history behind Bonfire Night in the UK you can read more on this link –

Bonfire Night – The Gunpowder Plot

I love Bonfire night! I love the sounds, the colours and the food (who wouldn’t love a toffee apple right now?) It is a really fun time of year and I couldn’t wait to start on some activities and crafts to get Buddy involved too!

firework pin

This is a really simple recipe and is based on simple science (the only science I can get my head around!)

How to make a Firework Discovery Bottle

You will need

  • A Bottle
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil/baby oil
  • Food Colouring
  • Effervescent tablets (the ones that fizz when you put them in water)I used three in each bottle.
  • I filled the bottle with one third water and two thirds vegetable oil. You need to leave an inch or two at the top of the bottle because your mixture is going to fizz like a bottle of cola and you don’t want that all over your carpet. (Just to be safe I would suggest making this in an easy clean area.)

    I added some green food colouring, which gave us our first awesome picture of the day.

    IMG_2874.JPG

    Looks pretty nifty right? So, what’s happening here is the oil is floating on top of the water because it is less dense than water and won’t mix with it. The food colouring (which is water based) is more dense than the oil too, so it sinks through the oil and starts mixing with the water below. (Note to my Science Teachers – see I was paying attention!)

    I then added an effervescent tablet. I had initially planned to use an Alka Seltzer but there were none available at my local shop. I decided to use a Sterident tablet, these are basically denture cleaning tablets (no I don’t wear dentures, I’ve just spent a lot of time cleaning them) They were super cheap too! Fortunately, it worked.

    IMG_2888-0.JPG

    This awesome reaction is caused by the effervescent tablet reacting with the water. It makes the water fizz which disrupts the oil and spreads pretty colours and bubbles throughout the mixture!

    I left the lid on this bottle, to enable Buddy to play with it. Every now and then I just twisted the top slightly to release some of the pressure inside. It does give a less dramatic reaction than when you keep the lid off, however I really like my carpet and I don’t think green food colouring and oil would improve it.

    Buddy was mesmerised by the Fireworks.

    IMG_2892.JPG

    Although it was great that Buddy could safely play with the bottle, I couldn’t resist having a go without the lid on too! I started off with red food colouring this time, which looked great.

    IMG_2900.JPG

    The reaction had really started to get going by this point so I took a short video, so you can see the fun in action.



    After a while I decided to add some green food colouring too.

    IMG_2911.JPG

    The reaction had really slowed down by this point, however I found it really relaxing to watch. You can see a video of it below.



    We had lots of fun with this activity and it was great to remind myself of some of the cool things I learned at school too! To make it even more dramatic you could also add glitter to the mix. I’m kicking myself for not doing that, I have tubs full of glitter that I’ve been desperate to use…

    I am planning a series of firework themed activities, so stay tuned for some more fun in the next few weeks.

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    7 thoughts on “Firework Sensory Bottle – Fun Science

    1. Pingback: Rainbow Calm Down Sensory Bottles | The Train Driver's Wife

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    3. Pingback: Suminagashi Fireworks – Crafty Kids at Home

    4. Will this bottle last a while? Or will it loose the fizz? I am looking for something to use in a classroom with two year olds. I will have to glue the lid on.

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    5. Pingback: 52 Weeks of Discovery Bottle Ideas for Kids

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