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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Recycle, Renew and Reuse for Preschool

I am pretty thrifty. I would imagine almost all preschool teachers are. I enjoy finding ways to recycle, renew and reuse items we've used before and creating something new and useful. On this thrifty day, Bella brought a lunch kit to school that contained a cute little water bottle perfect for little hands. We had left over foam pieces on the counter from a project we did the day before. I told the kids we should make something for our friends in the 2-year old classroom. They all agreed, and here's what we did.

 We washed our bottle and made sure it was clean inside and out. 

We chose the smaller foam pieces since they'd be easier to stick in the bottle. 

We took turns placing the foam pieces in, this was great for our fine motor skills. 

More pieces to add...

Then, we filled the bottle about half way with water. 
I got out the hot glue gun to secure the cap. 
We talked about what might happen if the babies were to get the top off. 

Once our bottle was complete we talked about doing 
things for others and how kind they were to make something the 
toddlers could play with. 

This project went over really well since some of my class have siblings in the 2-year old classroom. They'd ask their siblings if they played with the toy we made. 

The two-year old teacher was fantastic in praising the kids for thinking of her class and she was very proud of them for using items they already had. 

Since this was not a planned activity, just a "teachable moment" I didn't have a book planned for the activity but I did find some cute ones after the fact. 
You might find these helpful if you're creating a theme or lesson plan. 

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling (Little Green Books)  Don't Throw That Away!: A Lift-the-Flap Book about Recycling and Reusing (Little Green Books)  Why Should I Recycle?

Happy Creating


  1. We made bottles this week too! Ours were just a bit different but the same idea:)

  2. When you say you filled the water bottle halfway - you filled it just with foam pieces or is there a liquid in there too? hard to tell from the photo - LOVE the idea!

  3. @Deborah...Hey! Great minds think alike! What'd you put inside yours? An assistant of mine (from months ago) used blue colored water and glitter! They were so gorgeous!

    @Anonymous...Hi my anonymous friend...thanks for stopping by! One of the biggest complaints I used to get from my writing professor was that I write like people know me and know what I'm talking about...hee hee...Yes, we added the foam pieces and filled the bottle halfway with water. I thought by only filling it half-way some of the foam pieces would stick on the sides of the bottle and the teacher could discuss the shapes that stuck:)

    Thanks for stopping by! Hope you visit again soon:)