I Spy Bottles are fun and educational. As the child explores the bottle they use their language skills to tell you what they find like "a green button" or a "red bow." They also work on their observation skills as they use their senses to touch, see and hear. For children who can write this activity also helps fine motor and writing skills as they can write down the objects they find in the bottle.
We have made other I Spy Bottles and my kids have enjoyed exploring them all. I thought it would be fun to make up a Christmas theme I Spy Bottle. This past yard sale season I picked up a ziploc bag filled and I mean filled with Christmas trinkets like little tiny mittens, stars, green and red buttons, tiny stockings and Christmas trees. All things that would fit perfectly into an I Spy Bottle!
I started off by dying some rice red and green. I wasn't sure of the best way to dye rice but Happy Hooligans has a super easy, mess free way to do it. To learn how check out their post How To Color Rice.
While the rice was drying I grabbed my yard sale bag of Christmas trinkets and started writing down the things I would put into the bottle. I used a small notepad that I keep right next to where the I Spy Bottle is. This way, my kids can look at the book and check things off as they find them. Since my daughter can't read yet I call off things from the book for her to find while other times she just quietly explores and discovers on her own. Another option is taking a picture of the trinkets before adding them, printing it and attaching it with ribbon to the bottle. This way would work best for non-readers.
Once the rice was dry I began filling the bottle using a piece of paper rolled into a cone like shape. Our funnel did not work well for this part. I poured in some rice and then added some trinkets and did this all the way up. When you get to the top leave a few inches so that you have enough room for the rice to move around. Lastly, I hot glue gun the cap to the bottle so nothing accidentally spills out!
This was a really fun addition to our other I Spy Bottles and it added to our Christmas fun!
Here are some of our other I Spy Bottles:
My 9 year old son made this one on his own using a combination of rice and dinosaur sprinkles! He chose to attach his label of what was included to the side of the bottle.
We've used rice for all of our I Spy Bottles except this one where I used colored sprinkles.