Thursday, September 08, 2011

Busy Bag Swap: Day 9 (I SPY bottles)

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Name: Megan Birkenfeld 

Kids/Ages: Sawyer/2 years & Nash/3 months

How do you spend your free time? Free time? What's that?! ;) Crafting, sewing, "pinning", reading, & blogging.

When you were a child, what was one of your favorite ways to spend your day? Playing outside! I would pretend to do and be anything and everything! 

Fondest memory with your mom as a child? I fondly remember all the times she would spend intentional time with me doing something I loved even if I knew it wasn't her favorite thing to do. Like playing countless hours of basketball with me in the driveway.

What does special time with your children look like? Going out on special "dates" with them (well, Sawyer for now.) Cuddling, being silly, just making anything we are doing together fun!

Favorite outdoor activity with your kids? Park days!! We love to try out new parks in every town we visit-- and we have even been known to stop for a "play break" when we see a park in the middle of a road trip (or just a new one in our hometown!). :)

Favorite blog for children's activities/crafts/parenting? 

A favorite tradition that you want to pass down with your children? Hm... I have so many I want to do!! I will stick with something school related and say taking fun "First Day of School" pictures.  Oh, and of course saving every single piece of art work!! I'm pretty sure my mom still has some framed... :)


My assignment was "I Spy" Bottles. Two words: LOVE THEM.

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I decided to fill my bottles with just random things from around the house. With not knowing the skill level, or interests, of each child that would be receiving one of these bottles I figured this was the safest bet. But, the possibilities are endless! This is one of the most versatile activities ever. You can make an ABC bottle and fill your bottle with alphabet beads. You could do a number bottle and fill it with numbers or you could do a letter of the week bottle like this, and fill it with objects of the chosen letter. (Letter D- dog, dinosaur, dice, domino, etc.) I could go on and on of all of the themes you could do for these bottles. Farm, transportation, emotions (with different emoticon stickers), etc.

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Not only can you change the theme of the bottles but you can make it super easy to super hard. To make it easier you can fill it with less rice and add more objects. You can also use larger objects. To make it harder you can use smaller and fewer objects while adding more rice to the bottle. Another way to challenge an older child would be to wrap a piece of construction paper around the bottle with only a "viewing hole" so that the only way to find objects is through that small hole. You could also have the child find objects in a certain order, by a certain color, etc.

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The materials you need to make a bottle:
1 sturdy & clear bottle
1 cup of rice (or sand or beans)
11 objects (or however many you would like) I used:
- colored pom pom
- penny
- paper clip
- black bean
- puzzle piece
- stretchy worm
- crayon
- decorative jewel
- bead
- googly eye
- noodle
1 square piece of fabric to cover the lid
Twine (yarn, string, etc) to tie the fabric to the bottle

And voila! You have yourself an "I Spy" Bottle.

I then made a "Find It" card to go in each busy bag:

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(I just sent this picture to my local CVS and had 26 4x6's printed.)

I decided not to glue the bottle caps on (although you could!) because I wanted the ability to be able to change out the items in the bottle. If you wanted to change the items and add new ones all you would need to do is remove the twine/fabric, dump the contents into a bowl, pick out the objects and replace with new ones, and pour everything back into the bottle.

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I am so excited for Sawyer to be able to play with this bottle and also grow with it. I love that a one year old can use it simply as a musical shaker while a five year old can use it to find all of the letters in their name.

Now let's get BUSY!!


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