9 07 2008

Like I mentioned a couple days go, not a lot of finishing going on right now, so I thought I would share with you a project Seth and I completed two weeks ago. We took a 3-day road trip to attend hubbies maternal family reunion. Here’s how much time I spent in the car with my husband, 3 yr old son and 13 month old daughter, including pit stops:

  • Friday – >9 hrs to get to my parents
  • Saturday – 1 1/2 hrs to the reunion, 2 hrs back (3 potty stops!)
  • Sunday – >9 hrs home

Yikes! Thank goodness we had borrowed my mom’s minivan for the trip. This meant higher mpg but shorter length of time since the parent not driving could sit in the back and entertain the little folk. We do have a portable DVD player but I refuse to pull it out until the last couple hours of the big trips. This means I’m always on the look out for travel games for the kids that I can keep tucked away when at home to keep them special and interesting for the drives.

For this trip we added a looky-loo or I spy game for tor Seth and a shaker for Eleanor. The goal of the game being for Seth to find each item on our inventory list by shaking and turning the bottle. I still can’t believe how quickly we put this together. The night before we washed out a water bottle and collected some small objects. (Note – the smaller the better) We also colored rice base on Ayama-chan’s tutorial. When I suggested colors to Seth I rambled off the primary colors and Seth piped up “I have an idea! We can mix blue and yellow to make green!” While the green was predictable, I LOVE that he came up with the color mixing part. My efforts to expose him to the color wheel are paying off!

OK, back on subject. We let the rice and the bottle dry over night and put it together in the morning similar to Ten Ten’s tutorial. As Seth can’t read yet I kept the inventory list separately so I could absentmindedly ask him if he could find x, y or z in the bottle while I continued to knit. Here’s a listing of what we put in our bottle:

  • a nut and bolt
  • a rubber band
  • a button
  • a plastic centipede (really too big and may need to come out)
  • a tiny Lego
  • a paper clip
  • a fake key from some junk mail (also too big as it clogs stuff from moving around)
  • a sea shell
  • a feather charm
  • a large tooth (I don’t know what from, it was in a large cabinet of beads from my parents. Seth loves it.)
  • a small chunk of crayon
  • a shiny red rock
  • a penny
  • plastic flowers
  • a safety pin
  • a small chunk of a cinnamon stick
  • a small cork
  • a metal star

It was an excellent lesson in size – i.e. what would fit through the bottle neck. Honestly, I think we could add more items so more things show up with each shake or turn. As I haven’t glued the lid on yet, we may just do that. Also as I mentioned above the centipede and key are a little too big as they fit through the hole but clog up the works – so keeping things very small is key. Eleanor enjoyed shaking her brother’s looky-loo so much that we threw some rice in a smaller bottle with a childproof lid. Of course, we left this and grandma and grandpa’s but it wouldn’t take much to make a new one.

I’ve been thinking of doing something like this for awhile, but my idea was a lot more complex as it involves sewing. I love how simple this version is. Thanks Ten Ten!




8 responses

10 07 2008
painted fish studio

what a great game! i love the picture of green rice.

10 07 2008

If only I had known about this when my kids were younger. I like the green rice too!

10 07 2008

love the idea. i sent your link to the mommies in my life.

10 07 2008


I am thinking about doing this for “my kids” at church. Sounds like you got a lot of stuff in the bottle. What size bottle did you use?

11 07 2008
Anna Y

These things are addicitve aren’t they?? We have 5 and counting. One is green the others are a mix of colours. Having a rice play box in the kitchen while I cook was a disaster, but not the little girl front (she played well with it and no rice on the floor). I created weevil heaven! Weevil Kenevil, his family, relatives and mates all moved in…..

11 07 2008

We’ve got a couple of these too – fab aren’t they!

11 07 2008
Shelly G.

I love this idea… I would like to make a couple… Very clever…

14 07 2008

Ginger would love this!!

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