Discovery Bottles

Get ready to “discover” how much FUN you can have with recycled plastic bottles! There is no “right” or “wrong” way to make or use these bottles.  The only thing you have to do is glue the lids on with a hot glue gun, super glue, or tile and grout glue.  Soak the bottles in warm water or blow with a hair dryer to remove the labels.  The only difficult part is removing the sticky glue left on the bottle.  I have tried everything from Goo Gone to nail polish remover, mayonnaise, and peanut butter.  I’ve found the easiest thing to do is just put a piece of clear packaging tape over the sticky part.

Here are some other suggestions:

Make one bottle each week and introduce it to your class.  Store the collection on a “discovery” shelf in your classroom.  You could also keep them in a basket or the cardboard carton six-pack drinks come in.

Have a “science fair” and invite children to create a bottle at home with their parents.  You can run off directions for the bottles from this site, or you can let each family “invent” their own bottle.  Have a special day when everyone brings their bottle to school and explains how they made it.  Children can play with their bottles during transition times or “trade” bottles with their friends.

Ask parents to save bottles for you.  Any size plastic bottle will do, from spice jars and soft drink bottles to shampoo bottles and water bottles.  Once you start making these bottles you’ll have a difficult time ever throwing one away again!

You’ll find most of the materials for making these bottles in your school closet or kitchen cabinet.  Teacher supply stores, craft stores, dollar stores, and the  Oriental Trading Company are other great sources for inexpensive materials.

I’ve made my bottles with tap water, but in some parts of the country you might need to use distilled water.