Recycled Plastic Bag Basket

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A tisket. A tasket. A 100% recycled basket. 2nd graders with some weaving experience can turn a gallon milk jug and plastic grocery bags into a functional basket in which to plant a miniature lawn to decorate or play with. A hands-on exercise in transforming waste into new life!

What You Need:

  • Gallon milk jug
  • Craft knife or scissors
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Scissors
  • 1 1/2 cups sprouting wheat berries
  • Potting soil

What You Do:

  1. Prepare the milk jug yourself, in advance. Very carefully cut the top off, leaving a 7" deep bottom. Trim the edge evenly. Starting 3/4" below the top edge, use the Exacto knife to cut 2 vertical slits in each of three sides. On the fourth side, cut 3 slits.
  2. Ask your child to help you find colorful trash bags in the drawer (or bin.) You'll need about 4 bags, depending on their size. Select a few extra just in case.
  3. Children will love helping pull each plastic grocery bag in half like a wishbone. Use your scissors to snip through the bottom seam. Each of you hold one side of the snip. On the count of three: pull!
  4. Feeding plastic bags through the slits presents a new challenge to children familiar with the basic over-and-under weaving motion. The bags are fluffy rather than smooth and uniform. The plastic milk jug "warp" bends, flexes and even stretches a bit. Children will soon discover that holding the slits open with a finger or two helps the bags move freely. No need to worry about knotting or fancy finishing. Just poke the ends inside.
  5. Poke a few drainage holes in the bottom and add soil to 2 inches. Spread the wheat berry sprouts in a single layer over the soil. Water carefully, then cover with a layer of newspaper.
  6. Place sprouts in a sunny spot where they will stay warm. Each morning, water them just a little and replace the newspaper. When sprouts start to turn green, remove the newspaper. It takes a week to 10 days for grass to grow.
  7. Let children use their tiny garden to graze toy animals or host a Lego conference or build a fairy house.

Did You Know:


Updated on Mar 20, 2013
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