5 Crafts & Experiments using Recycled Soda Bottles

We know you save every empty shoebox, paper towel roll, and soda bottle just in case the right class project or craft comes along.  So let us help you put those hoarded 2-liter soda bottles to work! 

Start by removing the labels and the sticky residue left behind. The trick is soaking the bottles in warm water, which will get most of the label off, and then using either white vinegar or peanut butter (yes, peanut butter—smooth, not chunky) to remove the sticky residue.

5 Crafts & Experiments using Recycled Soda Bottles | Remedia PublicationsWorm Farm 
You will need a 2-liter bottle, 16-ounce water bottle (empty), sand, dirt, rocks, worms, tape, and black construction paper. Cut the tops off of the two bottles.  Be sure to save the top of the 2-liter bottle. Put about one inch of rocks with a little dirt in the bottom of the 2-liter bottle, then place the smaller bottle inside the larger bottle, and begin layering sand and dirt around the smaller bottle.  Once you have the dirt filled most of the way to the top, add three to five worms, and tape the 2-liter bottle’s lid back on top (remove the cap). Now, you’re ready to watch the magic happen. Worms work best in the dark, so cover the bottle with the black construction paper and check back in to see their progress. Encourage students to keep a journal to record what they see and discover.

Punctured Plastic Bottle Experiment
This experiment demonstrates how air pressure controls the flow of water. To demonstrate this, you will poke a hole near the bottom of a 2-liter bottle, cover the hole with masking tape, and then fill the bottle with water and put the cap on the bottle. Click here to download this experiment and activity from our Hands-On Experiments books.
Painter’s Palette
Cut the bottoms off of 2-liter bottles and you have the perfect caddy for your little artists’ paint. The divots in the bottom of the bottle make the perfect holder for up to four colors of paint. They also clean-up nicely and stack perfectly for easy storage.

Hanging Planters
Take the left over tops of the 2-liter bottles from the above craft and turn them into hanging planters for your classroom. Turn the bottle upside down so the spout is at the bottom (be sure to leave the cap on). Now, poke two holes on opposite sides of each other at the top of the cut off end. String yarn through the holes to create a pretty hanger. Add soil and seeds, and hang the planters around your classroom and watch the plants grow. Students can decorate their bottles before they add soil and plant the seeds. You can also have students observe how some plants grow faster or slower based on where they are hung in the classroom.

I Spy Game
Fill your empty bottle with small random items: marbles, lego men, letter magnets, pennies, dimes, etc. Then fill the bottle with rice. Leave about two inches of empty space at the top and put the lid back on.  Now, send your little one on the hunt: find me something green, find me the letter “i”, how many marbles can you find, and so on.