Put dry rice and tiny objects inside a plastic bottle, then seal it. Have the kids find the objects by moving the bottle around; older kids can write down the names of the objects they find.
- Clear plastic bottle with a cap (clean and dry with the label removed)
- Dry rice, beans or sand
- Tiny objects that fit through the bottle's top (buttons, beads, plastic charms, trinkets, etc.)
- A funnel or a piece of paper and an inch of tape (form the paper into a cone to act as a funnel)
- Glue (white glue or hot glue)
Collect 10-20 (or more) small, colorful objects that fit through the top of your bottle. Ideas include: beads, buttons, crayons, birthday candles, dice, Barbie shoes, figural erasers, sea shells, letter tiles, tiny pom-poms, googly eyes, acorns, nails, bolts, screws, rubber bands, paper clips, plastic jewels, marbles, jacks, toy construction blocks, feathers, short pieces of yarn or ribbon, push pins, safety pins, twigs, pebbles, tiny plastic toys, fun foam cut into shapes, numbers, or letters, etc. This craft helps you empty out your junk drawer!
Put the objects in a clean, dry plastic bottle. If you like, write down the objects so you can help in the I Spy game later.
To make pouring the rice easier, use a funnel (or make one using a piece of paper taped into a cone shape). Add dry rice or sand until the bottle is about 3/4 full (leave room in the bottle so the child can move the rice around to see the objects).
You can make themed bottles (ABC’s, shapes, seasons, Halloween or other holidays, animals, ocean life, colors, etc) for special occasions.
For example, to make a shape-themed bottle, cut various colors of fun foam into a: tiny circle, triangle, rectangle, square, oval, star, heart, diamond, torus (doughnut), hexagon, and octagon.
Glue the top on the bottle (using white glue or hot glue). When the glue dries, you’ll have a great exploratory toy for a curious child.
For older children, you can have them write down the items they find. Click here for a printable “I Spy” worksheet for 10 items. Or click here for a printable “I Spy” worksheet for 20 items.