Winter Words Discovery Bottle

Jan 23, 2015

Discovery bottles are a fun literacy tool for children who are learning to read. They're a cinch to put together, can be made using materials you already have, and are a perfect addition to themed learning units.

I recently made a winter words discovery bottle for my son (age 4.5) who is in the pre-reading stage. Together we've been working on letter sounds, identifying letters within words, and sounding out basic words.

I included several winter related words (snow, ice, cold, mittens, snowflake, etc.) in our discovery bottle. I asked my son to shake the bottle and then we read the words that appeared and talked about the letters that made up the words.

Next time we play I'll provide my son with a list of the words in the bottle so that he can check them off as he spots them. As he becomes more comfortable forming letters, he can print the words himself.

Making a winter words discovery bottle is easy. Here's how.

1. Start with a clean, dry, plastic bottle. Fill it about three quarters full with uncooked white rice or white beans.

2. Add craft embellishments like clear and blue gems (seen in our version), small white pom poms, cardstock snowflakes, silver glitter or anything else you might have that fits the winter theme.

3. Print winter words on heavy cardstock or cardboard and cut each word out. Regular paper is too thin and will not hold up well amidst the rice and other materials in the bottle. Be sure to print each word on both the back and front of the cardstock.

4. Twist the bottle cap tightly (securing it with tape will ensure it won't open while your child shakes it).

That's it! Have fun discovering winter words.

Article Author Ann Harquail
Ann Harquail

Ann is a mom of one and operator of a small home daycare. She lives with her husband and son in Atlantic Canada. A country girl at heart, Ann is inspired by nature and is a big proponent of outdoor play. She believes that young children learn best through play and hands-on, meaningful experiences. Ann blogs at My Nearest and Dearest where she shares activities for the preschool set as well as the occasional recipe and parenting post. You can also follow Ann on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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