Projects made from two-liter soda bottles are limited only by the imagination. A science teacher can show his class how to create oceans in a bottle which illustrate the non-mixing properties of oil and water. Other scientific applications include making a personal-sized garden or hanging bird feeder, both of which combine lessons on the importance of recycling with information on caring for nature and protecting the environment. Artistic endeavors include repurposing two-liter bottles into bowling pins, holiday art, toddler toys or buckets.
Ocean in a Bottle
Equal amounts of water dyed blue and clear vegetable oil provide the necessary ingredients to create a quick and simple ocean inside a bottle. Kids of all ages love tipping the bottle back and forth to watch the hypnotic blue waves ripple and flow.
A small terrarium, or enclosed plant-growing container, is made by cutting a two-liter bottle in half around the middle. Fill the bottom part halfway with potting soil, then add a small plant and a few decorative accents such as colored rocks or a small statue. Cover with the top half of the bottle and place in a sunny window for a tiny plant-friendly habitat.
Bottles become bird feeders with the simple addition of a dowel, small feeding holes and a string to hang the bottle from a tree. Fill the bottle with birdseed and hang near a window for a fun bird-watching activity all year long.
Cover empty bottles with spray paint, contact paper or stickers. Pour a cup of sand or gravel into each bottle before capping, to help them stand upright. Set up the pins, pass around small basketballs, and let the fun begin.
Fill soda bottles with cotton balls, quilt batting or white tissue paper. Cut snowman facial features and accessories from felt, fabric or fun foam. Attach to the bottle with glue dots or tape and use as a holiday decoration.
Make an easy Halloween decoration by pouring some orange paint and a little water into a two-liter bottle. Shake to coat the inside of the bottle, then glue on spooky eyes and a grinning mouth made from self-adhesive foam or felt. Tie green felt around the bottle cap to make a stem.
Shakers or Noisemakers
You can fill two-liter bottles with a variety of items to create noisemakers for young children. You can paint or dye rice, dried beans or gravel before pouring inside the bottle, to add color. Make a quieter toy by filling the bottle partially with sand and dropping in small plastic jewels and other treasures for a child to uncover by shaking the bottle.
The bottom half of a two-liter bottle easily becomes a bucket for collecting shells, Easter eggs or rocks. Just add a simple handle made from yarn, thin rope or a chenille stem and decorate with stickers or other embellishments.
- Photo Credit bottle image by tofuwarrior from Fotolia.com
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