Valentine I Spy Discovery Bottle

While Little Sister was napping, Big Sister helped me find some red and pink items to make an “I Spy” bottle for her to have in the car. Sometimes called busy or discovery bottles, they help keep kids occupied and give little hands something to do.

valentine-discovery-bottle2Kids do not come with self-regulating skills and strategies already in place but these are important to learn as kindergarten readiness and life skills. Kids sometimes need to be patient, to wait, and to entertain themselves. We can help them learn to do this with these I Spy bottles.

These are easy and inexpensive to make, with an empty water bottle, a dozen or so little things to find, and some filler. The filler material can be rice, corn, pasta, or even Epsom Salts. Small objects will fit into bottles with small openings, but for larger things, the bottle also needs to have a wider mouth. To minimize the chance of everything spilling all over, it’s a good idea to glue or tape the lid.

Big Sister had her own ideas of what would be appropriate and fun to find in a Valentine bottle. The heart button is yellow and orange, but has the right shape. The blue jewel came off a birthday bag and the silver chain from the kitchen junk drawer. Apparently, they can go in the bottle because they are “sparkly.” Although the connection may not be there, she did try to give a reason.

Self-control takes a lot of effort for kids and it’s not easy. As a skill or strategy though, it will go far beyond readiness for kindergarten, and will be needed for a lifetime. That’s why it’s so important to learn. When needed, kids can shake up these bottles and see if they can “I Spy” the little objects hiding inside. Blow in a few kisses so kids can look for how much we love them. Have you made any of these?

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