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Activity: Create an Ocean in a Bottle


It’s Under the Sea Week at Camp WeWow where we’re learning all about the underwater world. This simple oil and water ocean inspired activity is magical! Plus it comes together quickly, with just 3 ingredients  you most likely already have on hand. Let’s dive in!



  • large clear bottle with a lid
  • water
  • blue food coloring
  • cooking oil (we recommend canola, vegetable or corn oil)
  • funnel



Step 1: Fill your bottle about 1/3 of the way full with water.

Step 2: Add several drops of food coloring.

Step 3: Fill the bottle to the top with oil.

Step 4: Close bottle with cap (optional: run some hot glue around the inside of the bottle lid before placing the cap on).

Step 5: Shake contents vigorously and watch your ocean come to life. The more you agitate the contents, the bubblier the ocean becomes.

Step 6: Set the bottle down if you wish to let bubbles settle and then start shaking again.


What in the WOW just happened?

When you shake the contents of the bottle, it appears as though the oil and water have mixed. Then slowly small droplets of oil form and start to join with other droplets to form larger drops until all of the oil settles on top of the water. Oil and water are described as ‘immiscible’ meaning not forming a homogeneous mixture when combined. They just dont mix!