Early Lit Bits: Learning with Crafts — Recycled Planters and Watering Can

Recycled Planters and Watering Can:Play-Grow-Read

Spring is just around the corner. It’s time to garden. Gardening teaches patience, nurturing skills and even builds vocabulary as children learn the names of different vegetables and plants. Repurpose containers from around the house to make fun planters and a simple watering can.


  • Seeds (fast-growing seeds such as beans or grass work well)
  • Potting soil
  • Yogurt cups, coffee pods, old baby shoes, empty eggshells or stale ice cream cones
  • A one-gallon milk jug
  • Drill with small drill bit (adult use only)

To Make:

Look around the house for fun containers to use for planting. Any small plastic container will do. Stale flat-bottomed ice cream cones make excellent seedling planters and are completely biodegradable. Simply start a seed by sowing it in a cone filled with soil and plant the whole cone in the ground once the seedling is established. Outgrown shoes and boots also make fun outdoor planters too. Fill a planter with soil and sow the seeds according to the directions on the package. Water gently and set in a sunny window.

Make a simple watering can by drilling several small holes in the cap of a milk jug. Partially fill the jug with water so that it’s not too heavy for children to lift and screw the top on.  Encourage children to water the plants and observe the seeds as they sprout and grow.

To Use:

As the seeds sprout, talk about the different parts of the plant: the root, stem and leaves. Use a ruler to measure the plant every day or take a picture of the plant every day to record its growth.

–Anjie G. at KDL’s Walker Branch



This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.


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Written by Ali


Ali is a Collection Development Paraprofessional at KDL. She loves cookbooks and memoirs.

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