Summer Travel Toy: DIY “I Spy” Bottle

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If you have travel plans this summer, you’re going to love today’s simple project. These DIY “I Spy” bottles can be lifesavers during a long car or plane ride. Plus, they’re easy to make using materials you already have around the house.

To make yours, you’ll need:

  • a medium to large sized plastic bottle
  • rice (you can also use dried beans, lentils, etc.)
  • several small toys that will fit in the bottle
  • a digital camera
  • a computer and printer

The first step is to neatly lay out all the toys and take a picture of them. We placed all of our toys onto a white piece of paper for a clean background.

Once printed, this photo will be the reference card that your children use to find the various objects in the bottle.

Next, fill your bottle with the rice and toys.

Screw the lid onto the bottle and glue it on if you have young children and are concerned about the potential mess or choking hazard.

Finally, print the photo you took of the objects inside the bottle. Now you have a portable game that can be used for keeping kids busy and happy.

For older children, you can also keep the game interesting by skipping the glue on the lid and periodically changing out the items inside the bottle. You don’t even need a reference card–just keep track of how many items you’ve placed inside and challenge your child to find all 10, 15, or 20 objects.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Morgan

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