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Plastic bottle stamping (recycling)

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tempera paints, empty plastic water or seltzer bottles (with caps), paint brush, white paper


You can use recyclables to make Earth Day art!  Recycle empty water bottles and use them as stamps for painting (look for the ones that have indentations on the bottom of them).

First, talk to the children a little bit about recycling, and how we can REUSE things that we might otherwise throw away.  Show children an empty plastic water bottle - many of them may already know that you can recycle it.  But tell them how you will give that plastic bottle another use before you will wash it and put it into the recycle bin.

Then, cover tables with newspaper, and have small containers of paint and with paint brushes.  Have children paint the bottom of their plastic bottles and then press onto their paper to make designs or prints (or you can choose to setup shallow bowls or paper plates with paint for children to dip bottles into).  Have a variety of different types of water bottles (with different designs on the bottom).

Next, have children turn the bottles over and paint the caps and press those as well (the picture shows how the two types of prints together can look like a flower).   They can just make a bunch of prints, or they can turn their prints into a painted scene.

Pair this activity with the book "The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle", which follows how plastic bottles are made, how they get recycled, and some of the things they can be recycled into.

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