Make Your Own DIY i-Spy Bottles for Kids

Posted on in Crafts/ DIY/ Kids

When I was a kid one of my fondest memories comes from the old school I used to go to. In the library, there was an upstairs loft and we’d go sit up there, read and watch the people down below. One of my favourite things to do was read those old i-Spy books. Trying to find the fun objects in the photos with seas of colours and other objects. It was oddly calming and relaxed me enough to take on the rest of the day.

Wouldn’t this be perfect for Jayden I thought? Of course! He was recently diagnosed with ADHD and has recently had major changes in his life to help with this, and it’s doing wonders but I think he could use some more ways to focus and ideas to keep him calm.

I decided instead of going out and buying these old i-Spy books that usually get ripped in our house anyway, I’d make i-Spy bottles for him. Simple, easy and really fun to make and play with I knew he would have a good time with them.

Of course, Justin wants to play with them too so I made 4. All with the same objects inside (some are different colours) and I printed out a photo of all the objects for them to find.

I got all the items at Dollar Tree or Dollarama so I didn’t spend a fortune, and the fun part is these last forever. So you can even tuck them away, or dump them out and update the contents later on if you choose.

Materials Needed:

  • Empty and clean juice bottles (most people like the VOSS water bottles, I wanted smaller)
  • Coloured sand (you can also use rice)
  • Items for inside: Beads, change, dice, small animals, pom poms, etc
  • Photo of objects in the bottle, and printed out on paper


  1. Clean your juice bottle, dry well and remove all labels
  2. Add a little bit of sand to your bottle, then pop in a few objects, add more sand, and keep going until almost completely full
  3. Leave a little room at the top so your sand can move around, and the objects can be spied.
  4. Done

I used smaller bottles for this project knowing Jayden can take them with him to/from his doctor’s appointments in Toronto on the train. He can also take them to school if he wants and have them on hand in case he needs a little distraction. You can use any bottle you’d like, but I am glad I went with these smaller juice bottles because even Justin is having a really great time spying his objects!

Next up we will be making i-Spy bottles in some liquid. I think they’ll be a bit easier for Justin, and will still be really beneficial for Jayden. For now, though, these bottles are providing endless amounts of fun, challenge and keeping these boys on their toes trying to find all the things!


  • Reply Catherine Sargent April 19, 2018 at 10:43 am

    This looks like such a fun activity for the kids! I am going to make this for my niece and nephew.

  • Reply Audrey April 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    What an amazing concept! It looks like a lot of fun for any child!

  • Reply Danielle Smith April 19, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    The I Spy game comes in handy most times when on a road trip with the kids. I could see these bottles providing some fun on the road as well.

  • Reply Tami April 19, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    This will be so much fun for my awesome 5-year old. He loves hidden picture books, so I know he will love this evenmoreso because he can put his hands on it.

  • Reply Sarah Bailey April 19, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    I am sure I spotted these on instagram last night and thought what a great idea! Think of all the different things you could pop inside for kids to find.

  • Reply Sarah Bailey April 19, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    These are such a fun idea! I love the fact you could hide anything in them and make it different anytime you want by just changing around what little things are in there to find.

  • Reply Brandy April 19, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    I had never heard of I-Spy bottles before. This is the coolest thing ever. I want to make them with my niece, I bet she would love them so much.

  • Reply Marie Altenor April 19, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    Thats wonderful two fun thing in one. One making the game together then playing it togther.

  • Reply brianne April 19, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    This is such a cool DIY gift, I am so doing this for my kiddies. They would get a kick out of this!

  • Reply peter April 19, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    i’m so glad the boys are enjoying these. what a great way to get them focusing on other things rather than a tv or computer.

  • Reply Toni | Boulder Locavore April 20, 2018 at 12:30 am

    This is a great idea to make with the kids! Would be so fun to try!

  • Reply Annemarie LeBlanc April 20, 2018 at 3:08 am

    Great idea! This will keep kids pre-occupied and learn new things as well. I will share this post with my daughter so she can make these for the grandchildren. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Annemarie LeBlanc April 20, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Look at those busy little learners! I like the idea of this DIY i-spy bottles. My grandson will have loads of fun with it and keep him busy for a long time

  • Reply Kiwi April 20, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    I think this is a fun and creative diy activity for kids. Gives them mental stimulation and sharpness of their analytical brain.

  • Reply Toughcookiemommy April 22, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    This is such a creative project to do with the kids. I love that they can add any trinkets that they want and that they can use their creativity and imaginations.

  • Reply Carol Cassara April 23, 2018 at 12:20 am

    I love these little bottles! They’re adorable and they’re perfect for keeping the kids entertained especially during road trips! It’s easy to make and definitely fun!

  • Reply Shannon Gurnee April 23, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Oh my gosh – these are super cute! I would love to make these with our kids (even the older ones)! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Veronica Solomon April 26, 2018 at 12:11 am

    I used to love doing clever craft projects with my kids when they were younger. This looks a great one to do with the little ones

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