Kid projects with water cooler jugs
October 5, 2018 8:39 AM   Subscribe

If you had some empty 5 gallon water cooler jugs, taught preschool, and just thought there must be something fun to do with them, what would that be?
posted by transient to Education (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've often wondered if you could make a tornado bottle using two water cooler jugs and some heat-shrink pipe wrap as a connector.

You could collect pennies as part of a lesson counting, addition, and money. Or you could collect small objects and do a thing on estimation-- how many marbles are in the jug, how heavy is the jug, etc.

Elephant toothpaste or Diet Coke 'n' Mentos might be really dramatic and fabulous; really any chemical reaction that you do in a soda bottle would be fabulous as an outdoor experiment.

My roommates recently inverted a glass water cooler jug, filled it with those spongey grow-a-whatever-critters and water, capped it, and mounted it in a stand for casual living-room decor. I think they had to cut a custom plexi top with a hole for the top of a table, but you could do it with any hole in a cheap table like an Ikea Lack. If the hole you cut comes out ugly, you can caulk it in and cover that.
posted by blnkfrnk at 8:44 AM on October 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Or make a giant Nebula Jar!
posted by blnkfrnk at 8:46 AM on October 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Stacking Liquids. More stacking liquids.
posted by Rob Rockets at 8:48 AM on October 5, 2018

Launch that sucker!
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:50 AM on October 5, 2018

In preschool I LOVED those tornado jars. They were the coolest thing! We put a little monopoly house in them so you could see it get sucked down. That's a really happy memory that I haven't thought of for a while; thank you!
posted by bbqturtle at 9:16 AM on October 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

I feel like every preschooler could benefit from hard physical labor. I’d fill them with something weighing 10 lbs or so have have them brainstorm how to push/roll/etc them.
posted by snickerdoodle at 9:18 AM on October 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Brew beer or mead.
posted by terrapin at 9:23 AM on October 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Recycling them into elephants! Fun craft project plus a lesson about recycling!

(I am also pro-science projects but that's been covered!)
posted by ancient star at 9:28 AM on October 5, 2018

This will be my last comment, but you could make an Alka-Seltzer lava lamp or an enormous I Spy bottle.
posted by blnkfrnk at 11:41 AM on October 5, 2018

They make good drums - outdoors.

1 would cut down to a good size for a tin man costume - paint silver, use dryer pipe for arms. Or a great base for some other wearable costume, and pre-schoolers love costumes.
posted by theora55 at 12:08 PM on October 5, 2018

Seconding drums, it's a really pleasing sound. I've actually used one in a percussion-heavy track before.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:57 PM on October 5, 2018

They are great for terrariums.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:51 PM on October 5, 2018

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