Monday, September 17, 2012

I Spy Bottles

One of my friends recently had the brilliant idea to host a 'busy bag' swap! If you've never heard of busy bags, they are simple little activities that are kept in individual bags, and can be brought out to buy a desperate mommy a little time to accomplish something!

In a busy bag swap, you create one activity for each mom participating. This way, when you swap activities, you have a collection of unique and ready-to-go busy bags! What I like about this is, you don't have that annoying little bit of left over supplies from making one little craft, and of course, I got a ton of thoughtfully created activities for Selah to play with!

For this busy bag swap, I made 'I Spy' bottles. These are great for the car, or on the potty!

To make the I Spy bottles you will need:
an empty bottle
(optional) disposable trays for rice dying
liquid food coloring
rubbing alcohol
trinkets and tidbits for the kiddos to search for
hot glue gun

1) Color your rice.
I bought a huge bag of rice for $9.00 at the grocery store, and disposable aluminum pans for each different color. Use food coloring/alcohol in a 1:3 ratio. For example, I dyed an entire pan of rice with 1 Tbl food coloring and 3 Tbl rubbing alcohol. The alcohol helps spread the coloring evenly, and drys the rice really quickly!

2) Take pictures of each trinket for the 'I Spy' booklet 
Here's where your trusty smart phone comes in handy. I snapped a quick photo of each item. Then, I used my Phonto app to label the picture, and made them into collages with my Diptic app. Viola! Then you can print, and laminate (if you want).

3) Put the trinkets into your bottle and fill with colored rice, leaving a little space at the top

4) Don't forget to hot glue the lid on! 

5) Tie on your  'I Spy booklet'


6) Let your toddler play with the leftover rainbow rice. Then teach her to sweep! 


  1. This is a cute idea - I'm always trying to come up with things like this to keep my daughter entertained. However, she's so obsessed with opening and pouring things out right now I think she would probably end up throwing a fit over not being able to open the bottle =)

  2. Thanks! Selah doesn't quite understand why the bottle doesn't open yet, either. It just reminds her of how much fun the rice was, and then she asks to play with the tubs of rice again!

  3. Wonderful idea! We used to sell a commercially made product like this at a toy store I worked at, but this is so much better! :) And of course, cheaper! Awesome.

  4. love this! thanks for the step-by-step. i plan to copy without shame!