Monday, June 21, 2021

How Do Discovery Bottles Benefit Montessori Daycare Children?

Jar full of coarse salt. Montessori daycare.
Discovery bottles are an important facet of the Montessori daycare. They allow children to engage in play-based learning for many topics without the messiness that might be associated with the same items used in different ways.

What are Discovery Bottles?

For daycare students, discovery bottles are all about learning. Discovery bottles, also known as sensory bottles, calm-down jars, among other names, are one of the best ways to encourage sensory play without making a mess. Each bottle or jar is filled with one or more sensory items, leaving enough room for the objects inside to roll around, tumble, and shake. Pasta, pebbles, rice, and leaves are all great ideas for discovery bottles, but the jar size is the limit on what can be used.

Discovery Bottles Build Fine Motor Skills

Discovery bottles are an exciting manipulator for young hands to practice fine motor skills. As they twist, turn, and shake the bottle, they give their fingers, arms, and minds an avenue of exploration and practice. For young daycare students, simply learning to hold the bottle is a good place to start, and more advanced hand movements will develop naturally.

Academic Skills and Discovery Bottles

From counting to learning the alphabet and exploring the world of science, sensory bottles offer a wealth of opportunities. By putting specific types or numbers of items in each bottle, children are able to learn about a variety of academic concepts. As an example, putting 1 or 2 dice in a bottle can provide hours of play and an introduction to counting, arithmetic, and grouping. A simple science experiment is to put different items in bottles containing the same fluid and observe the varying speeds at which the objects sink.

Discovery Bottles to Calm Down

A sealed bottle with colored water or oil is a perfect starter discovery bottle. With pebbles or glitter added to the fluid, young children are mesmerized by the slow and steady movement of items as they manipulate the bottle in various ways. This can help diffuse short tempers because of the calming effect the movement of items in the bottle can have.

Use your imagination to come up with different types of discovery bottles. Some rattle, others suspend. Some contain familiar objects and others contain things a child has never seen before. The more variations you can think of, the more ways children will benefit from discovery bottles.