Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I-Spy Bottle

Like most small kids, sometimes Squirt needs something to keep him quiet and entertained. This can be the case when I am trying to help an older child with schoolwork. I don't mind him watching some television shows on Netflix, because there is benefit to some that are educational, but a line does have to be drawn at some point or else he would sit and watch shows all day.

He got a small I-Spy beanbag last year, but that has lost some of its luster, and I figured he would appreciate that same idea on a larger scale.

The bottle I used is a Voss water bottle. It is rather expensive water, but the bottle is really neat. I picked this one up at the nearby health food store while grabbing some vegan cheese.
Things you will need:
  • Water bottle (emptied and dried)
  • Small, interesting items
  • Poly-pellets or rice
  • Hot glue gun complete with a glue stick
First, use a knife to scrap off all the branding on the bottle. It comes off quite easily, even if the noise is a little unpleasant. After having Gizmo take a picture of me doing this, I realized I was completely ignoring the primary safety rule of not pulling the knife towards you. And of course, I realized this after I was done, so there was nothing else to photograph. Oops. Scrape safely out there, folks. Do as I say, not as I do.
Next thing to do is to find yourself a bunch of small items. I was being super-cheap with this project, so I just scoured the house. The craft room and the bottoms of the children's toy boxes seemed to give me the largest pay-off. It is best to use items that will hold their shape. I briefly though about using a strip of ribbon, but then realized it would not ever show up well in the bottle.

These are the items I used.

I tried to find a variety of sizes and colors, but sticking to a certain theme could be really fun as well. I began thinking of ideas using all one color, or using all pirate or princess type items. I am planning on having the picture of the items printed out and laminated, so that the kids could cross out the items they have found using a dry erase marker.

The Nemo in the items is a sticker that I put on cardstock and cut out. It was my own geeky joke for "Finding Nemo."

Fold a paper into a basic funnel shape and pour in whatever you choose for a filler. Rice would work well; I am just a little weird-ed out by having a food item in the bottle. I used Poly-pellets, which can be purchased at a craft store. They are normally used for making stuffed animals and weighting the legs or bottom. Leave about an inch at the top left unfilled. I screwed on the top and twist and turned the bottle to test the if the amount of poly-pellets was what I wanted.

To make sure that no kid can get the bottle open, squeeze a large amount of hot glue all around the threads at the mouth of the bottle. While it is still hot, hurry and twist the top on. Decorate as desired. I had envisioned adding a cute ribbon around the top, but nothing of the sort has happened since Squirt gleefully took the bottle from me as soon as it was finished. Decoration or not, it seems to be a kid pleaser.