Crafts | DIY | Kids

Make Your Own DIY i-Spy Bottles for 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!

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