Thursday, September 1, 2011

Activity Days: Plastic Bottle Herb Planters

For our first Activity Days activity in August we made indoor plastic bottle herb planters.  It was a fun outdoor activity.  We wanted to teach the girls about the difference between using fresh and dried herbs, and how to grow them indoors so they were available year round.  We let them smell and taste the difference between fresh and dried herbs, and encouraged them to use their new basil plants when they cook with their moms.

This activity took about 30 minutes and we had something else planned to go with it that I'll share later.  To extend this to take a full hour you could let the girls decorate their planters.  Use some contact paper and stickers or glitter glue.  Just make sure that anything you use to decorate can handle a little water since it could get wet when the girls water their plants at home.

For this activity, you'll need:
  • 2 liter plastic bottles
  • scissors
  • potting soil
  • herb seedlings
Advance preparation:

For each planter, remove the label and any remaining adhesive.  Mark a line 5 inches from the bottle's base.  Using scissors or a utility knife, puncture the bottle at the mark.  Then use scissors to cut all the way around the bottle around the mark.

For the girls to do:

With the cap in place, invert the bottle's top portion and insert it into the base.  Fill it partway with soil.  Transplant the seedling, adding soil and pressing gently until the seedling is secured in the planter.

Lift out the soil filled top portion and remove the cap.  Add about 2 inches of water to the planter's base, enough to cover the lip of the inverted bottle top when you replace it.  Give the seedling some more water to help it get established, then place it in a sunny spot.  Add water as needed to the planter's base.

Goals Completed:  Alternate activity in Developing Talents
Source:  Family Fun

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