Sunday, March 3, 2013

DIY Seek 'n' Find Bottle

Here is a fantastically simple idea for a DIY kids' activity that I love. I learned about this last week at my MOPS meeting, where we made a bottle with plain rice. Within a few days, we had made two more, one with purple rice and one with blue rice. I love when we learn how to do something with cheap or even free materials, like this Gatorade bottle that we are re-using.

{I drew pictures to go along with the Seek 'n' Find item descriptions to make it more kid-friendly for the 6-year-old girl who will be getting this for her birthday.}

  • rice
  • plastic bottle with lid
  • funnel
  • small toys/other objects for inside of bottle (brads, beads, buttons, pom poms, googly eyes, pebbles, shells, keys, erasers, coins, crayons, Q-tip, nail/screw/washer, charms, feathers, dice, marbles, paper clips, craft foam shapes/letters, etc.)
  • paper or note card
  • pencil or pen 
  • Super Glue
Optional Materials:
  • food coloring
  • large bowl and spoon (needed if dying rice)
  • rubbing alcohol (needed if dying rice)
  • clear Con-tact paper (for "laminating" card)
  • scissors (if using Con-tact paper and/or yarn)
  • yarn or string (to hang card on bottle)
  • hole punch (to hang card on bottle)
  1. To dye rice (optional, recommended if you are making this activity for school age children), pour your rice into a large bowl. Add a few drops of food coloring (I used no more than 10 drops) and a small amount of rubbing alcohol (I used no more than 2 teaspoon per approximately 1 pound of rice). Mix together with a spoon and allow to dry. The rubbing alcohol helps speed this up, and I made four different colors of rice in four separate bowls, all of which were dry within about 20 minutes.
  2. Use a funnel to add some rice to your clean, dry bottle. Tip: You can also use a piece of rolled up paper if you don't have a funnel available.
  3. Put in a few small toys or other fun objects. Add more rice. Repeat as desired. As you are doing this, you will need to keep track of what you have included on a piece of paper or a note card. If you include more than one of a certain item (ie. button) you will need to note the color as well. Tip: Longer items like crayons and feathers seem to work better if they are added sooner rather than later, so you may need to plan ahead somewhat.
  4. Once your bottle is nearly full, run some super glue around the threading of the bottle neck. Then, screw on your cap. Let it sit for awhile so that the glue is fully dry.
  5. If desired, you can "laminate" your Find 'n' Seek Bottle card by sandwiching it between two pieces of clear Con-tact paper. Then, punch a hole and thread it onto the bottle with yarn or string. Tie a knot, and your game is ready for action. Kids can play with this at home or in the car. We have even made one to give as a gift at an upcoming birthday party.


  1. I am thinking I should make one for my desk and kids who finish their projects early!

    1. Great thinking! We just made one today and took it to our neighbors across the street who have 3 kids under age 4. I haven't seen them outside much lately since the weather has been unpredictable, and I assume, they are all playing musical sickness like we are. I figured they could use an amusement or two, so we made up a "Busy Bag" full of this type of thing. :)