Color Mixing Discovery Bottles

Only use Gatorade or G2 bottles for the sensory bottles they are a heavier plastic so they hold up better and keep a unison look so everything looks good. They come in different sizes you can find smaller ones for small hands if you need to.

Make sure to ALWAYS seal your bottles securely! I cannot emphasize this enough. Unless you want your bottle opened and the contents poured out. SEAL IT… with glue. Duct tape can be peeled off by a determined kiddo. Glue is much harder for them to open up.

Mixing Color Bottle
Step One: You will need colored lamp oil buying the colored lamp oil works best. You can color other kinds of oil with a lipid (fat) based food dye (like Wilson frosting dye) for the oil portion of this bottle, however, I have found that the color eventually starts to blend into he water this way. Using colored lamp oil lasts so much longer and when I make my bottles I want them to last the whole school year if not longer. So it’s up to you and your preference.

Step Two: Color water using food coloring.

Step Three: pour colored lamp oil on top of your colored water. So the bottle should be half colored water and half colored lamp oil. Seal the bottles and shake. The colors will mix and then separate again and again. This is by far my preferred way of making these bottles.**Lamp oil is very dangerous if swallowed, make sure you seal your bottle very well.**

Alternate Method:
Color vegetable oil with powdered tempera or a lipid/fat based food dye like stated above and add to a water bottle. Color water with food coloring and pour into the bottle. Colors will mix to form secondary color when shaken, then separate again when undisturbed.
All three pictures are using the second method with powdered tempera paint.

For a list of ALL my amazing DISCOVERY BOTTLE IDEAS click the link or the image below


  1. Where do you purchase the lamp oil and how much is it, looks like a great idea for a pre- k class science center

  2. Elizabeth B. says:

    I tried looking for the colored lamp oil but I am not sure exactly what I am looking for. Is it a dye or is it pre-made? How is it sold? Thanks!


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