DIY – I Spy Bottles

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

DIY – I Spy Bottles

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Kids will love playing with these homemade I Spy Bottles. These make great busy bags or fun for road trips for preschool, kindergarten, and elementary age children.
Kids Activities on the Go - These homemade I Spy Bottles make a great busy bag or road trip activity for preschool, kindergarten, and elementary age child.

I was recently invited to a Busy Bag Party. In case you haven’t heard of that the host invites a certain number of people. There were 9 in our exchange (a WONDERFUL number to be able to buy/make in bulk without being too daunting!) Each person lets the host know what buys bag item (DIY reusable games/activities for preschool kids) they are making so there are no duplicates. Then each of you makes 9 projects. At the Busy Bag Party you swap so when you go homes you will have 9 different busy bag activities for your kids to play with – cool, right! I am so grateful to my host for the fun idea & my kids are LOVING all their new activities.

Busy Bag Activity for Toddler, Preschool, and Kindergarten

homemade i spy bottle busy bag

So on to my project – I made an I Spy Bottle! It was lots of fun to make and provides hours of entertainment. It is especially wonderful in the car!

things to find in the I spy bottle

First, we began saving my son’s Gatorade bottles from soccer practice – after all we needed 9!  They were a perfect size; water bottles would also work well although I found the plastic was not as tough. Meanwhile I went over to Michael’s to get some beads/buttons to put in the I Spy Bottles. You can get a pack of 10 for $1. So I got 8 different packs to put one of each in. I also put in a penny and a pom pom.  There are so many choices it might be fun to make a themed bottle!

fill your bottle with colored rice

Then I used a funnel to add homemade colored rice. I put 1/4 cup of colored rice and then topped with 2-3 items. I layered the rice to look pretty for the initial presentation, but once the bottles get played with it will look different. Continue layering rice & items until you leave 1 1/2” at the top.

you can fill the bottle with any combination of colored rice you like

Here are all my I Spy bottles – aren’t they pretty =-)

attach i spy instructionsinclude pictures of what your child should look for in the I Spy Bottle

Finally, I attached the ‘instructions’ by using a hole punch and looping a rubber band through the hole and around the bottle. The first card (left) tells you what it is & how to play. The next 10 cards show a picture of what you are looking for and the I Spy Game magnifying glass in the corner (in case they ever got separated). I made the cards with my scrapbook software and laminated all the cards.

My super creative sister has made I Spy Bottles for each season using different mediums than rice. You might also try colored fusion beads, sand, salt, fake snow, colored water, hair gel, rocks, darker grain, spices, etc.  The possibilities are endless as are the hours of fun your kiddos will have with them!

More Kids Activities


  1. Beth I LOVE this! This is so fantastic! They are beautiful. Of course we all know my obsession with colored rice lol. I have never heard of a busy bag exchange but that sounds like loads of fun. I think I will have to organize and host one when the babes is a bit older. Thanks for the ideas! Pinning!

  2. so cute idea!! I have 11 kids so I would need to make them bulk for us and they would be great on our summer road trip!!
    I pinned you!!

  3. Love this idea! I'm thinking it will make an inexpensive, fun idea for gifts for a bunch of kids at church!!

    Do you glue the lids on to prevent them from opening & spilling the contents?

  4. I love this. I've made one with letters and used a large peanut butter jar. This has inspired me to do other ones with little objects.

  5. Wow! A great, economical way to create this game. Love it! Renee

  6. OMG I am def going to do this with my daughter

  7. Love the busy bag party idea! I am adding it to my own summer bucket list. What things did your friends bring? I'd love to see what else you came home with!

  8. I'm totally doing this for our family camping trip coming up at the end of March. We will be taking 9 kids camping so I'm hoping to mix up the stuff a bit so each bottle will contain different items. These sound so fun!

  9. Help...I can't find the tutorial for making the colored rice!

  10. I have been meaning to make my own "I Spy" type of bottle/bag - thank you for sharing this! Looks so fun and easy!

  11. I love this idea! It would be great for older children who need something to do when they finish and I'm working with another child.

  12. Great, I'm using this at Senior Center