While fizzing up a bottle may seem elementary… to a little kid, it’s a blast!!
Simple household ingredients can turn recyclable bottles into fizzing fun for young and old alike. The mixture is simple, baking soda plus vinegar equals a bubbly reaction. Anyone who made it through grade school science probably learned how to make a ‘volcano’ explode in a similar manner.
We realized we were out of baking soda but guess what… baking powder also did the trick.
Just fill an empty plastic of glass bottle with a few spoonfuls of powder, add vinegar and watch the kids faces light up with excitement. Yes, bringing joy to a child really is THAT EASY.
PS.. let the kids scoop, let the kids pour, and let the kids help clean up! My four year old helper was just as capable as her big sister.
PPS..do I really have to say, DON’T DRINK.
Assembling a terrarium is rather simple, provided you have the right materials. The easiest to maintain is a succulent terrarium like this, for it requires lots of light and little water.
To get started you need to find a glass container. I used an old cookie jar, but anything from a glass vase to an empty pickle jar will do. Unlike a tropical terrarium, a succulent habitat is open air and does not require a lid.
The layers are outlined visually above…
Starting at the bottom, add rocks for drainage. For a personal touch, I added a layer of shells I collected recently at the beach (this is not required).
On top of the rocks, place a thin layer of charcoal. Charcoal for plants is sold almost anywhere you can buy soil, just ask. The charcoal layer helps to absorb impurities and prevent fungus from growing in the container.
After the charcoal, a layer of cactus soil, then your plants. If possible, leave a little space between your plants to give them room to multiply and grow.
09/16/09 The newest additions to my household…
The mini terrarium, made with an empty salsa jar and old fish tank gravel & the floating terrarium, inspired from this project.
It’s all Star Wars all the time!! (at least to my little bud, it is)
While my 4 year old friend is not making these projects all by himself, it’s the time we spend together.. digging through the recycle bin, tearing the tape, looking through books.. that makes doing projects together so much fun!
Not only that, but he truly cherishes his homemade toys. His x-wing fighter has been smooshed, squished and stomped on, but it still flies missions alongside the store-bought ones.
While I don’t expect everyone to have the same items we used, after reading through the rundown below, I hope you get some good ideas on how to fashion your own.
Here’s the rundown: The bottom of the snow speeder is a discarded plastic tray from dog bones. We used an awl to pop some holes in it and thread the orange straws through.
The top is a juice bottle bottom, cut with a sharp kitchen knife. The top and bottom are joined in the back with clear packing tape. We put 2 layers on the outside, then 2 layers on the inside, to create a hinge, so the top opens and closes.
We jazzed it up with some craft foam strips, and in the very back is a broken Nerf bullet.
Now hit up the recycle bin and make some fun!!
Spending too much time with me can turn you into a collector, of sorts. Instead of collecting things you think will be of value to someone in a number of years, you collect random things (okay… trash, more or less) that you think you’ll use for an art project!
You’ll find yourself hanging on to empty spice jars, socks, stockings, styrofoam, boxes, broken jewelry, empty food containers, juice bottles, sippy boxes, baby food jars… you name it, I can make something with it!!
Fine! Good! Reuse!
But you must remember to USE WHAT YOU SAVE, otherwise you just end up with a heap of junk.
This recycled sculpture was done by a 7 1/2 year old girl (who held herself up in her room with her little brother so that she could surprise me with this awesome gift).
There got to be such a mound of ‘collectibles’ in the house that the old ‘Use it or loose it’ adage was tossed around a tad too frequently! So.. she stepped up to the plate.
This project was made entirely out of things she saved, rescued from the trash, or collected around the house.
The Rundown: There’s a sock wrapped around a juice bottle, on top of an empty cookie container. Then another sock balled up, with an empty ribbon wheel, some craft straws and pipe cleaners holding up an ART sign, written with Sharpie on a fabric scrap. The sculpture is cleverly held together by (massive amounts of) clear packing tape.
It’s true, one of my young friends is a little Star Wars obsessed, thereby explaining the influx of Star Wars themed crafts on the site. This one, of course, was recycle-bin inspired… with much of the art direction by a 4 year old boy.
We used a water bottle, 4 toilet paper rings, a styrofoam supermarket tray, some pipe cleaners and masking tape. Lots and lots of masking tape!
Using a sharp knife or a craft knife, have an adult cut 2 seat holes, one for your pilot and one for the co-pilot (see last pic). Using masking tape, cover the sharp plastic edges where the bottle was cut.
Cut the styrafoam tray into 4 wings of similar size. Loop a piece of pipe cleaner through the end of each wing, and twist together to form lasers.
Attach the toilet paper rings to the bottle using masking tape, as seen below. Then add the wings.
Cover the entire ship with masking tape, then add accents & details using stickers or permanent marker.
After much play with this ship (notice the broken wings) I was told that R2D2 needed a seat… so make sure you give R2D2 a seat!! Also, to make sure our Jedi did not fall into the bottle, we taped a small piece of pipe cleaner inside to form a seat that he straddles. You can see part of it in the last two images.
Sometimes we’re in the mood to craft, but haven’t a single idea! What to do? Hit up the recycle bin for inspiration.
Today, we created this Family Car for the Playmobil toys out of:
- an empty juice bottle
- ribbon holders
- styrofoam food tray
- 2 straws
- chopsticks, from takeout
- foam balls
We made a hole in the top for passengers, then taped 2 straws to the bottom of the bottle, pushed the chopsticks through the straws and secured to our ribbon-holder wheels with a dab of glue.
Next, we cut the styrofoam tray into rectangular shapes for seats and used some felt and ribbon to add flare.
Since there was lots of adult help for this project, we decided to use the hot glue gun to secure the embellishments since it bonds well with plastic.
** Have an adult cut any necessary holes with a sharp kitchen or craft knife **
While we’re finally starting to notice a shift away from plastic bags and bottles, they do still end up in our lives. The important thing, is what we do with them next… don’t toss them, reuse them!!
This is a simple project, inspired by an old Girl Scout camping trick, and it’s a great way to keep all those annoying plastic bags tucked neatly away.
Using an empty plastic bottle, cut off the top. We used a sharp kitchen knife to slice ours. Next, you need to trim the sharp, newly exposed plastic edge with some masking tape (so you don’t hurt yourself putting the bags in and out). And that’s it!
If you’re doing this with kids, have them stuff the dispenser with your plastic bags. We fit about 20 bags into each bottle. WOW! Under the sink looks so neat.