After two weeks of drying out bags of sand I was anxious to make 'I Spy' bottles with my friends at the Curtis Memorial Library. A hundred children arrived ready to create with plastic bottles in hand. We began the event with a lively story entitled 'Surf War'. Next I acted out the steps and intentionally made mistakes to both entertain and keep the kids attention.
I had the children walk around the room collecting one of each of the objects. We had a great assortment of parts left over from our mosaic pot craft and added other inexpensive items that fit into the top of the bottle: paperclips, golf pencils, water balloons, puzzle pieces, beads, plastic figurines, buttons, marbles, toothpicks, plastic bugs, beans.
The next step was to write all the items on a check list. Fortunately, I was able to use reading program bookmarks and simply punch a hole in the top.
The children worked over big tubs to cover their items with sand. They continued to pour handfuls of sand into the bottles until they were 3/4 full.
We topped the plain sand with 1/2" of colored sand that we had on hand. Unfortunately we ran out of colored sand before all the bottles were complete. If I was to do this project again I would invest in a couple bags of fine aquarium gravel. The colored sand was too fine, and the color was quickly lost in the regular 'play' sand. Our project needed to fit into the 'ocean' summer reading theme, but you could easily substitute rice.
Ocean themed foam stickers (JoAnn's) decorate the outside of the bottle, and a piece of ribbon attaches the content list around the neck. When your child is happy with their bottle the lid can be glue in place (Aleene's Tacky glue).
A great toy to keep in the car, simply rotate the bottle to rediscover the treasures hidden inside. Please see my home page for a listing of upcoming craft events.