Sensory Bottle Biomes for Kids

These Sensory Bottle Biomes are a fun, yet simple way for kids to explore what makes up a biome and to compare how various plant and animal life has adapted to fit that biome.
Sensory Bottle Biomes

Biomes are very large ecological areas on the Earth’s surface that are homes to many different types of plants and animals that have adapted to their environment. On the surface, a biome can very much look like a habitat which can cause it to be confusing for kids, however, a biome is not an ecosystem. These Sensory Bottle Biomes are a fun, yet simple way for kids to explore what makes up a biome and to compare how various plant and animal life has adapted to fit that biome.

These Sensory Bottle Biomes are a fun, yet simple way for kids to explore what makes up a biome and to compare how various plant and animal life has adapted to fit that biome.

What is a Biome?

Biomes are often defined by physical factors such as climate, relief, geology, soils and vegetation. They are not defined by living organisms. Even though many biomes look like massive ecosystems, they are not. In fact, many times there are multiple ecosystems within one biome.

There are five major biome categories on Earth: Dessert, Aquatic, Forest, Grassland, and Tundra. For this activity, we focused on only four of the biomes. Due to supplies we left the Tundra out.

How to Make Sensory Bottle Biomes

Items Needed

  • 4 Plastic Bottles, we used empty Voss Water Bottles (buy here)
  • Safari Ltd. Toobs (buy here)
  • Materials to Represent Soils and Vegetation (we used Grass/Moss, Kinetic Sand, Water/Corn Syrup, and Grass/Leaves/Sticks)
  • Glue (buy here)

These Sensory Bottle Biomes are a fun, yet simple way for kids to explore what makes up a biome and to compare how various plant and animal life has adapted to fit that biome.

Directions

We actually started this activity by looking at the different types of ecosystems that exist within the various biomes. We did this by sorting out our pile of Safari Ltd. Toys into the four categories and then discussing how these animals had adapted to live within that biome. This personally helped my kids stop seeing it as the zebra goes with the giraffe, and instead see it as both the lion and the buffalo live in similar environments.

These Sensory Bottle Biomes are a fun, yet simple way for kids to explore what makes up a biome and to compare how various plant and animal life has adapted to fit that biome.

Once we had discussed the types of animals that live in different biomes and what it was about that environment that those animals needed and/or had adapted to, we had a pretty good running list of the characteristics of each biome. 

These Sensory Bottle Biomes are a fun, yet simple way for kids to explore what makes up a biome and to compare how various plant and animal life has adapted to fit that biome.

The Desert Biome

This biome has little to no rainfall with very high temperatures and very little vegetation. Soil cover here is shallow, rocky, and sandy. Because of this, we only included kinetic sand and Toob Toys in this sensory bottle.

The Grassland Biome

This biome is dominated by grass and very little trees. Rainfall in grasslands is moderate and temperatures range from high in the summer to freezing in the winter. For this sensory bottle, we used decorative grass and Spanish moss.

The Aquatic Biome

This biome includes all bodies of water on the Earth’s surface, making it the largest biome. This category includes both freshwater and marine biomes and abiotic (physical) factors can vary drastically. For this sensory bottle, we used 1 cup corn syrup (dyed blue with gel food dye), water, shells, and Safari Ltd. toys.

The Forest Biome

This category of biomes has the largest biodiversity and includes three main types – rainforest, temperate, and boreal. The main marker of a forest biome is lots of trees with high humidity and rainfall. For this sensory bottle, we used sticks, leaves, and other types of vegetation to represent trees in addition to the Toob toys.

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These Sensory Bottle Biomes are a fun, yet simple way for kids to explore what makes up a biome and to compare how various plant and animal life has adapted to fit that biome.

Additional Biome Resources

Biome Sorting Mats for Forests from Life Over C’s
Build a Desert Biome from Schooling a Monkey
Biome Game Cards from Line Upon Line Learning
Biome Reports from Still Playing School
{FREE} Plants & Animals in the Tropical Rainforest Biome Cards from Preschool Powol Packets

 

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