Art & Maker Wednesdays: Self-Watering Planter

Happy Earth Day! We’re celebrating by making some self-watering planters that use recycled materials.

Materials & Instructions

Empty plastic bottle (16 oz and 2 liter bottles will both work)
6 inch piece of rope or strip of cotton fabric, like from a t-shirt
Dirt or potting soil
Seeds, flowers, or plant cuttings
Optional: colorful tape or markers.

STEP 1: Remove the label from your empty bottle.
STEP 2: Measure from the top of your water bottle and mark it at four inches. Now cut the water bottle in half with your scissors.  Grownups, make sure you help with this step!  (If you are using the two-liter bottle you want to measure 8 inches from the top of your bottle)

*Note: Grownups, if you make a small hole in the bottle, the rest can be cut with children’s scissors.

STEP 3: If you’d like, decorate your bottle with colorful tape or markers. 
STEP 4: Take the cap off your water bottle.  Grownups, use a thick nail and a hammer to poke a hole in your cap.  
STEP 5:  Take your piece of rope or t-shirt and pull it about two or three inches through the hole in the cap.
STEP 6: Screw the cap back onto the bottle.
STEP 7:  Add water to the bottom part of the bottle.
STEP 8: Fill the top part of the water bottle with potting soil or dirt; seeds; seedlings, flowers; or any other plant cuttings you’d like.
STEP 9: Now lower it into place on the bottom part of the bottle.
STEP 10: Remember to take good care of your new plant with water, sunshine, and lots of love.

Want to document your planter’s journey? Create a picture journal of your growing plants. Take a photo or draw a picture every day to mark any changes that happen. You can measure your plant to see how tall it gets. What changes do you notice after three days? What about after one week? What about after two weeks?

Vocab Words

While we celebrate Earth Day, we want to learn more about how we can take care of the Earth and keep it healthy and strong. Take a look at the vocabulary words below to learn more about ways you can help.

Reduce: Reducing means to make something smaller. When we reduce our waste and trash, we’re helping the planet! We can use fewer napkins and paper towels, or stop using plastic straws. 
Reuse: Reusing means to use things again and again and again, sometimes for different purposes. Instead of throwing away old toys or clothes, try giving them away or “upcycling” them – creating new things out of old things! We reused our plastic water bottle to create a beautiful planter.
Recycle: When we recycle our used items, that means they get broken down and built back up into new items. Many items like plastic, paper, glass, and aluminum can be recycled. 

Want to learn more about reducing, reusing, and recycling? Check out our April Building Blocks book of the month: Don’t Throw That Away by Lara Bergen.


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