Water bottle collages made by our prek

I have been saving water bottles all summer long and this week I pulled them out to try making water bottle collages. I had never tried this before and must say I will be doing this again…

I found the idea over at the amazing Casa Maria’s Learning Zone blog. Her art is always unique and very child-centered and I really looked forward to giving this a try. I set out strips of colorful construction paper and empty, clean, dry water bottles…

The children were invited to put the strips of paper in the bottles. We talked about different ways we could fold or roll the strips if they wished…

Some of the children preferred just to keep the strips long and straight as they pushed the paper into the bottle. Others liked folding the paper first…

Pushing the paper into the bottle made for wonderful eye-hand coordination practice and for building fine motor muscles…

Our three-year-old children did not really care for this but our four-year-old children loved it and asked to make them the next day too!

I am thinking about just keeping a box with bottles and scrap paper in the classroom to pull out whenever the children would like to do this during their freeplay time…

Simple, cheap, and no mess! Can’t beat that for such a creative project to try!

I am linking up with I Can Teach My Child!

By |2017-04-18T23:38:58+00:00September 9th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. andiejaye September 9, 2011 at 11:04 am - Reply

    that’s fun! they could also write messages to put in their bottle. then they could bury and find in the sensory table. fun idea! thanks so much!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm - Reply

      Oooh, great idea! I hadn’t thought of adding messages..

  2. Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree September 9, 2011 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Love! My daughter will enjoy this for sure!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm - Reply

      You can add your creative ideas too Melissa – you always have so many!

  3. Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree September 9, 2011 at 11:09 am - Reply

    PS: Why not add some yarn, foil, wrapping papers, and more too!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm - Reply

      Absolutely – I will try them all this year!

  4. Lisa Marie Mary September 9, 2011 at 11:58 am - Reply

    What a really great idea – I love it! This would be a lot of fun, because, you could do it in so many different ways. And that’s why it’s a great craft for you to keep around for them to do again and again, they can do something different each time. You could even experiment with different kinds of paper, maybe even newspaper – or maybe wrapping paper! 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm - Reply

      Absolutely – I have a ton of old phone books – we can tear them up too!

  5. Scott September 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    I love this idea. For some reason I never thought about letting the children put things in bottles. Guess I need to save the bottles, too, and not just the lids!

    And I just thought – we use shredded paper for different things. This is a place I could add those thin paper strips, too.

    Thanks for a great idea, Deborah.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm - Reply

      You are welcome Scott – after reading some of the comments here and on facebook – I am finding even more great ideas for expanding on this idea!

  6. Rose Moore September 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    We use water bottle art a lot for 3 D displays… I have a lot of materials including rice, pasta, pompoms,etc for them to put into the bottles. I put their name on them and when they want to change their bottle they dump it out and add new items.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      Yep – I will definitely add more to this idea. You all are inspiring me!

  7. Laura (The SEEDS Network) September 9, 2011 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    Do you have a paper shredder? Then you can even recycle old magazines, wrapping paper and such very easily and use with a project like this. Will have to start saving up my water bottles to do this one!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      I have a paper shredder that you can plug into the wall but I also have a whole class of paper shredders that can help me out with that process!!

  8. Home School Coach September 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    This is a great craft. I have a three year old grandson and a five year old granddaughter with CP that will really enjoy this. Thanks for sharing.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 9, 2011 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      A great way to occupy the grandkids for a bit:)

  9. Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas September 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    fun, my daughter did something similar in preschool last year and they added sequins and glitter – nice to see it float and sprinkle around with the paper. She still has it and plays with it.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 11, 2011 at 11:23 pm - Reply

      We are going to be making more bottles throughout the school year!

  10. Joy February 4, 2012 at 4:48 am - Reply

    This is an excellent idea! I definitely want to try it with my preschoolers. Now I just need water bottles. Did your children take their water bottle colleges home or leave them at your preschool?

  11. Barbara Mitchell April 19, 2017 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Just had another idea…I save scrap paper for a variety of other uses and this paper could be threaded, torn or cut by the children for their bottles. We’ve been recycling our water bottles all year do we have these on hand!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

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