With the warmer, sunnier days ahead, I know that we will be taking day trips to some fun places this summer. However, to get to many of these cool places we will have to spend some time in the car, which can sometimes mean lots of, “I’m bored!” or “are we there yet?” and no one wants to hear that the entire trip!
There are lots of fun games and activities to do in the car that will help to pass the time and make the trip more enjoyable, and playing with an I spy bottle is one of those fun things! My kids love to play with the one that is at their pediatricians office, and so I thought I would make them their own I spy bottle with things we have around our house. Of course there are great ones that you can buy already made, but if you want to go the DIY route, then this post is for you!
To make your own I Spy bottle you will need:
- Clear bottle (I found that the Voss water bottles work great because they are a nice size, the opening at the top is bigger than standard water bottles, and the labels are just stickers that can easily be peeled off to give your I Spy bottle a clean look!).
- Rice or sand
- A funnel
- Small objects to put in your I Spy bottle (for example: paperclips, small erasers, buttons, coins, screw, nail, pom pom, toothpick, bead, washer/nut, marble, rock, elastic, bottle cap, brad fastener, dice, block, bingo chip, key…any small object that will fit in the opening of the bottle will work!).
- Photo of the objects hidden in the bottle (and kept in a clear sheet protector or laminated for durability).
- Clear packing tape
What to do:
1. Peel off any labels that you can and let your water bottle dry out completely.
2. Find small objects that you can put inside of your I spy bottle (ones that will fit easily through the opening; see above for some ideas).
3. Before adding the objects to your bottle, lay them out on a solid colored surface and take a picture of them (this way your kids will have something to refer back to as they search for the hidden objects).
4. Print the picture you took of your I spy bottle objects and laminate it or slide it into a clear sheet protector for durability (I took the picture of our objects with my phone then printed it right from there, which printed on regular 8.5″ x 11″ paper. I slid this into a sheet protector and it’s working well. You could always print it much smaller if you wanted to though).
5. Start filling your bottle with rice or sand (I used white rice) until there is an inch or two at the bottom. Place a few of your lighter weight items in the bottle on top of the rice and cover with another couple of inches of rice. Repeat this process until you have used all of your objects, leaving an inch or so at the top of the bottle so that the rice (or sand) and objects can move around easily.
6. Place the cover on tightly and seal with clear packing tape so that little hands won’t be able to open the bottle!
7. All you have to do now is enjoy your newly made I spy bottle! Your kids can use the picture you took to see how many of the objects they can find in the bottle by turning it around, upside down, on its side; any way they need to in order to find everything in the picture!
I made two I spy bottle for my kids, mainly so that they wouldn’t fight over who has one and who doesn’t, but also to make one a little more challenging than the other! The harder bottle has smaller objects, such as a bead, thumb tack, rubber band and a marble, while the easier one has bigger objects to find, like a dice, small animal figurine and a large button. This way both of my children (ages 3 and 7) can play and be successful at finding the objects from the picture.
Whether they are using them at home or in the car, I hope that your kids enjoy their I spy bottles as much as my kids do!