Layered Density Discovery Bottle

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.

I have been wanting to make a Layered Density Discovery Bottle ever since I first saw one from Steve Spangler. I am so glad I finally made one. I actually had everything I needed right at home and you may too.
We did not measure we simply poured each liquid on top of the next.
Here is the order in which we poured.

First pour in…
1. Honey
2. Corn Syrup
3. Dawn Dish Soap
4. Colored (or not) Water
5. Vegetable Oil
6. We poured in rubbing alcohol it combined with the vegetable oil and even though it has been several days it has not separated.
7. Lamp oil

Next time I make this bottle I am going to leave out the rubbing alcohol.

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


  1. Doesn’t the dawn soap and the water mix together? I know when I am doing dishes they don’t stay in 2 distinct layers.

  2. So fun to find your version of this activity. What a great idea to do the layers in a plastic bottle. They won’t spill as easily and you can shake it all up if you want to at the end. We will share your twist on it our channels.

  3. Hi! I am long do your discovery bottles last for? Do they stand a pretty decent test of time? I see that you have them all organized on a cart of sorts.

  4. I once tried a layered sensory bottle. I was trying to create a color mixing effect- something that would appear red and blue when left alone, then purple when shaken. I had trouble with the colors- eventually they just blended, though the substances would remain layered any coloring agent I added just mixed into both. Wondering uf the colors in your bottle remained separated after being played with? Any tips? I’m going to try the blue Dawn- I’m thinking the color in it is probably not water-soluble.

    • P.S. The new Voss water bottles are awesome- clear, unridged cylinders with easily removed labels and oversized lids you can double-glue, both on the threads and where the outer edge of the lid meets the clear bottle, underneath the rim of the lid. The stuff is pricey, but I saw a movie at one of those fancy dine-in theaters, saw that they served it, and left with a whole bag of empties!

    • For layered color mixing bottles that always separate try my color mixing bottles they are amazing!

  5. Victoria says:

    I tried this with my kids but I didn’t have the lamp oil so to improvise, I used some of my husbands motor oil. It turned out great.

  6. Where do you get the red lamp oil?? I have looked at Home Depot and Lowes and don’t find anything. There is some on Amazon but they want to charge crazy shipping fees…


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