Building a small water wheel can teach children about using natural elements as power. The process of making a water wheel is very simple. You can make a water wheel using household items, and the simplicity of the project can ignite a child’s interest in great historical inventions and the science of kinetic energy.
Cut the plastic bottle into three cylindrical pieces. Discard the top of the bottle. The middle and bottom sections should be around 3 1/4 inches deep. Cut the middle band of plastic into four 3/4-inch wide strips. You will now have four slightly curved plastic strips measuring roughly 3 1/4 inches long and 3/4 inches wide. These will become the water wheel's blades.
Insert the plastic strips into the slots in the cork. Ensure that the curve on each of the pieces of plastic is going in the same direction so that the blades will all catch the water efficiently.
Cut the wooden skewer into two equally sized pieces. Push the two halves of the skewer through the holes toward the top of the bottle base. They should meet somewhere in the middle if held horizontally. Insert the interior ends of the skewer into either end of the plastic bladed cork. The two pieces of the skewer need to be inserted deeply enough into the cork to hold it in place, in the center of the bottom piece of the bottle, suspended near the upper edge. The holes should be in the center of the top and bottom ends of the cork to ensure efficient turning.