I-Spy can either be a great way to pass the time with small children or utterly infuriating. I was playing it recently with my eldest charge (who is 5), but nobody could guess what the object was. Turns out he hadn’t grasped two of the most important rules of the game – firstly the item he was spying wasn’t even in sight, it was something in his bedroom. Secondly, the object didn’t actually begin with the sound he was saying. As I said, utterly infuriating! Obviously though, this game is very tricky for little ones who are learning their sounds, which is where this I-Spy bottle comes into play.

To make your own I-Spy bottle you will need:

  • Lots of small items (that will fit into the bottle)
  • Something to hide the items e.g. rice, seeds, lentils etc

1. Place your objects into the bottle.

2. Fill the bottle up with your rice/seeds/lentils etc. Make sure you don’t fill it all the way to the top as you need room for everything to move as you shake it.

Now when playing the game with smaller children you can get them to choose an object that is in the bottle. Once they have identified its beginning sound, they give the bottle a shake and you have to find it.

You can also play different types of games with the I-Spy bottle:

  • Get your little one to try and find as many objects as they can and identify the beginning sound of each one.
  • You could play a memory game, get them to find as many objects in a time period, then take the bottle away and get them to name as many as they can remember.
  • It could even be a sensory bottle for really younger children and babies.

We dyed our rice a nice black colour to make the other objects stand out slightly more. There are different ways to dye rice, I normally just add the food colouring/liquid watercolour to a zip lock bag of rice and shake it, but I had read that if you add 1tsp of vinegar or rubbing alcohol to every cup of rice it would make the colour more vivid. We added some vinegar to ours, and personally I didn’t see any major difference than using just the food colouring/ liquid watercolours, it just made it smell of vinegar.

I didn’t glue the lid of our one down as it gives me the option of being able to switch out the objects in there, but if you are using it with very young children you may want to glue it shut.

About The Author

Nanny Anita
Norland Nanny

Nanny Anita is our resident Super Nanny. Having trained at the famous Norland College, in Bath, she has over 12 years experience, working all over the world with children from 2 months to 17 years old. Nanny Anita is an expert when it comes to keeping the little ones entertained and writes a column with Leonora called 'Get Crafty' for Little London magazine. Nanny Anita has been on hand to answer our reader questions, and she provides weekly arts, crafts and activities for families to do with their children at home. She really is a modern day Mary Poppins!

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