Self-watering pots are very simple to make and are something children can do (with a little help from adults). These self-watering pots can be made from recycled materials you probably already have around your home.
Material Required to Make Self-Watering Plant Pots
- A clean 3 litre plastic milk or juice bottle
- A strip of cloth
How To Make Self-Watering Plant Pots
Rule a line around the plastic container to be used as a guide for cutting. Cut the top off the container using scissors or a Stanley knife.
Note: This is where the adult assistance is needed.
It’s time to include some art in the project by getting out the permanent markers and drawing patterns on the side of your pot.
Insert the strip of cloth so that it extends out of the milk bottle top. The remainder of the cloth remains inside the milk bottle.
The cloth will act as a wick, drawing water up for the reservoir and into the soil where the plant can access it.
Turn the top of the milk bottle upside down so that the spout is facing down. Insert the top of the bottle inside the base.
Fill the self-watering plant pot with potting mix.
Plant a seed or seedling in the pot.
Water the seed or plant. Excess water will flow through the soil and be held in the reservoir at the bottom of the self-watering pot.
If you take photos of all these steps as your child works through them, the photos can later be used for a sequencing activity.
Encourage your child to:
- cut out the photos (great for fine motor and hand-eye coordination)
- sequence the photos in the correct order (fosters memory recall and problem-solving)
- write simple instructions next to each photo (for older children – introduces instructional writing). Alternativey, ask your child to tell you what happens in each step and write the instructions down for him/her.
This extension activity includes a maths and writing focus.