How to Make Plastic Bottle Sand Scoops.

May 22, 2012

It’s cold here right now. Yesterday morning it was -2 degrees C in my kitchen (which is possibly because one wall and the ceiling are still made of blue tarps).

I think I was a hibernating animal in my past life, because when it is dark and dreary outside I just want to shut all the doors, pull down the blinds and keep everyone in. I know that’s not good for us, especially the kids, so I try to get outside every day, even if it is just a five minute walk up the drive to the letter box, or a a quick run around the play group at school pick up, but some days I really REALLY don’t want to!

Despite the freezing bite to the wind and frosty mornings, the sun has been shining here this week which has just been blissful. I can cope with the cold if the sun is shining!

So to encourage everyone outside into the sunshine, and to give the boys something to do while I potter in the garden, this week we resurrected our sand pit and made some plastic bottle sand scoops!

I’d been collecting various plastic bottles for a while now, knowing they’d be good for something (in the past we’ve made these cool fairy houses) and they were perfect for making scoops!

How to Make Plastic Bottle Sand Scoops.

You’ll need:
Plastic bottles in any shape or size, with the lid.
Scissors and/or a craft knife
A permanent marker

make a bottle sand scoop

Mark a line across the side of the bottle – from the handle down to the side. Make sure you leave enough plastic around the handle to keep it intact and strong, and cut down far enough on the side to make sure there is no lip left from the bottom of the bottle.

Make a starting hole with the craft knife and then cut along your marked line with scissors or continue with the craft knife. I find scissors easier to control, but some thicker bits of plastic may need a craft knife to get through.

make a plastic bottle sand scoop

You can tidy up your cut after you’ve made it… cutting off any sharp edges and making corrections till you get the perfect looking sand scoop.

You can screw the lids on tight or take the lids off all together and you have a scoopey kind of funnel. You could have lots of fun if you melted holes in the lids and used the scoops with water or fine sand too.

make a sand scoop

Our sand pit has definitely seen better days. It isn’t used as often these days with the big kids preferring dirt and plants and potion making to the sand pit. So the boys and I had to pull out a good few weeds before we could try out our scoops. I also dug over the sand pit with my big proper garden shovel. Fluffing up the sand makes it a lot easier for the kids to dig and scoop, it’s worth doing every now and then regardless of how neglected your sand pit is.

make a sand scoop

Now get out there and enjoy the sunshine while you can!!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

veggie mama May 23, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I’m going to make some of these for the bath! Next summer will be sandpit-building time, so water play will have to do for now :)

And you’re right… I’ll just look at lovely pictures of lovely leaves and bask in my warm autumn haha! I just can’t do cold.


Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky May 23, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Awesome idea, thanks!


Caitlin May 23, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Thanks Kate. This is great. Our miserable old sand pit, which is badly in need of more sand is nonetheless experiencing a revival at the moment. These bad boys would go down a treat. At the moment spray painting sand castles is the in thing. Hopefully I can blog about it soon. (The dog doesn’t like this craze as he too has been spray painted.)


GrowingPlay May 25, 2012 at 3:25 am

Plan on making these today for our weekend away at the Lake. thanks for the idea!


Mackenzie May 27, 2012 at 12:14 am

So fun! I love your ideas! My boys just got a sand box this Spring and they will love this! Thanks! We’d love for you to join the party at Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes! I know my readers will like your ideas as well! :)
Have a great weekend!


Carolyn @ Mama's Little Muse May 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm

What a great idea! I love it and love that it is using a material that would otherwise be thrown out or reprocessed. Reusing in an innovative way like this is best! Especially with those hard plastics! I’m visiting from the Weekly Kid’s Co-op. Thanks for linking up!


Linnae March 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Just saw these on Pinterest. I am totally making some for this summer’s river sandbar trips. Thank you!


Born2lbfat January 13, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Thank you, I’m going to make these to use to sprinkle rock salt on my sidewalks!


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