Category Archives: reuse bottles, plastic

Cool Thumb-controlled Watering Pot Made With Recycled Materials

I got the idea to make these thumb controlled pots from the pottery ones I’ve seen at Historic Williamsburg. The original earthenware “thumb pots” were used in 17th and 18th century English gardens. I reproduced this clever watering device using salvaged plastic bottles and jugs. It is ideal for watering delicate seedlings. I use this watering pot all the time now.

To Make:

Find a suitable “pot.” I love using maple syrup containers but I was successful making other smaller pots with smaller plastic milk bottles. The smaller bottles are easier for children.

Drill a hole in the center of the cap of your container. I used a 7/32nd drill bit. Next, drill small holes in the bottom. I used a 1/16th drill bit. When using softer plastic containers, it is possible to poke holes instead of using a drill. Make sure the cap is on tight; otherwise the water will not stay inside.

How it works:

It works similar to holding your thumb over the top of a drinking straw.

1. To fill your thumb pot, place into a bucket of water. Do not cover the hole in the top.

2. Hold your finger over the hole in the cap to prevent water from escaping the bottom as you lift.

3. Continue to hold your thumb over the hole as you lift.

4. Take your thumb off the hole when you are ready to water your plants. Removing your thumb allows the water to gently stream out the holes on the bottom.

How to hold a thumb pot.

Make Learning Letter Sounds Fun By Using Home-made Letter Jars

Letter Jar Game used to learn letter sounds

Using letter jars will help children with early reading skills. It’s easy to make and fun to play. Perfect for home-school-ers / or preschoolers.

 

Letter Jar objects A,B,C,D,E,F

Ideas for objects beginning with the letters A, B, C, D, E, and F.

Letter Jar Objects G,H,I,J,K

Ideas for objects beginning with the letters G, H, I, J, and K.

Letter Jar Objects L,M,N,O,

 Ideas for objects beginning with the letters L, M, N, and O.

letter jar objects P, Q, R, and S

Ideas for objects beginning with the letters P, Q, R, and S.

 Add a picture of your child. They love to be included.

Letter Jar Objects T,U,V,W,X,Y,Z

Ideas for objects beginning with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z.

Introduce one jar at a time: naming the objects and pointing out the beginning sound. Explain that all the objects that start with that sounds should go together in a jar. Some of the sounds will be easy for them to learn, others more difficult. Some of the letters conveniently say their sound: like D. Some letters are harder like G because they don’t say their sound.

When he or she seems to be able to name the objects, let children test themselves by getting out two jars at a time and mixing the objects. Then they have to sort them back out. If two jars is too easy, use three.

More advanced activities:

Letter Jar Objects Ch, Th, Wh, and Sh Sounds

Some letters can make more than one sound so you can use separate jars for these if you like. Also, it can be very helpful to have a F jar and a Ph jar. It’s also helpful to have a jar for wh, sh, ch, th and other common combination sounds. Some children learn better using this kind of hands-on game.

My Children loved these jars. They would ask to use them. The little nick-knacks are so interesting.

Hot to:

Find baby food jars or plastic containers from your recycle bin. Label each container with a letter or letter combination.

Fill the containers with whatever you can find. Hunt for little things such as might be in a Piñata, given in a party favor bag, or found at the bottom of a toy box. If you have kids, chances are, you have junk toys.

*Please be aware that I’m not suggesting that you should use these with children that still put things in their mouth.

Easy Ghost String-Lights Made From Recycled Single Serving Milk Bottles

How to:
Set aside suitable single serving milk bottles. Make sure you wash them out really well; old milk smells really bad. I got these bottles at Chick-Fil-A. If you don’t eat at that restaurant, ask all your friends to save them for you or find a similar bottle elsewhere. Depending on your needs, you may want to start collecting well in advance. (I’ve been known to save all year or longer for projects.)
Paint on the faces with black acrylic paint and let dry. Your kids will want to make some too! I accidently discovered that if you paint the face and let it dry a little but not all the way, you can use your brush to slide around the paint to make even scarier faces.
When your paint is dry, use a hole- punch to make two holes at the top of the bottles (see arrows in picture). Then use scrap ribbon or wire to attach your ghosts to a set of string-lights: use the holes you just made. Put one ghost over each light.

Easy Ghost Party Favors Made From Recycled Single Serving Milk Bottles

How to:
Set aside suitable single serving milk bottles. Make sure you wash them out really well; old milk smells really bad. I got these bottles at Chick-Fil-A. If you don’t eat at that restaurant, ask all your friends to save them for you or find a similar bottle elsewhere. Depending on your needs, you may want to start collecting well in advance. (I’ve been known to save all year or longer for projects.)


Paint on the faces with black acrylic paint and let dry. Alternatively this might be an activity for guests at your Halloween party. Even young children can do this simple craft. Make a few in advance to set out as examples. I accidentally discovered that if you paint the face and let it dry a little but not all the way, you can use your brush to slide around the paint to make even scarier faces.


Print out ghostly messages on your computer, cut into strips and glue to the bottom of each bottle (See photo.) Write “Find a trick or treat inside. Maybe both”. Or write ” No trick, there is a treat inside!”
For fun, you may want to surprise your guests with a “trick” inside. Take a strip of paper and fold it accordion style with the word “Boo!” at the end. Glue the other end to the inside of the bottle cap. Children will find it when they open their bottle.

Fill these Halloween themed party favors with gummy worms or other treats.

Recycle Your Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles Into Cool Beach Buckets And Scoops.

Thinking about buying a bucket and shovel for the kids before your summer vacation to the beach? Why not make your own and save money while reducing waste. MYO bucket is a quick summer project.

Treasure collecting bucket with shoulder strap.

Treasure hunt.

Future marine biologists can use their buckets to study sea critters. Whether observing a jellyfish’s movements or learning how a crab walks, these recycled plastic buckets are perfect.

These scoops are great for making sandcastles. No need for a shovel.

Fun in the sun.

How-to:

  1. Do a little dumpster diving (look through your own or a friends recycle bin). Search for brightly colored plastic bottles of different sizes.
  2. Cut off the top of the bottle to make a bucket or the bottom to make a scoop. A box cutter works well but can be dangerous (adult use only). In most cases I found that scissors worked just as well.
  3. Find a piece of thin rope. I salvaged a piece of rope from an old tent that was destined for the dump.
  4. Make a hole (on the side opposite the handle) with a nail and thread the rope through it. Next use the bowline knot to secure it. Make another loop with the bowline knot attached to the existing handle of the bottle. Don’t know how to make a bowline knot? Fun In The Making shows you how. How-to: Bowline knot.
  5. Have a wonderful summer exploring at the beach!