Friday, March 19, 2010

I-Spy Jar

Whew!  What a busy week we have had!  I totally meant to get this posted earlier, but we had 3 1/2 days of SUPER nice weather before another snowstorm hit today.  So we had to capitalize on that.  But as promised, here is our I-Spy Jar!  OK, well here it is in a bowl - but more on that later.

I love those little I-Spy bags you can find on etsy and such.  I am a middling seamstress, I could probably pull off figuring one of those out, if it weren't for my horrible fear of sewing vinyl.  Then I saw an I-Spy bag in a JAR on Mama Jenn.  Cool!  I could do that!  But I put it off as a project for another day . . . I think E was about a year old when I first saw the idea. 

It resurfaced a day or two before our trip to Kansas for Thanksgiving this year.  I was desperate for something to bring in the car to entertain E for the long car ride.  So I put one together for the trip, using things I had around my house. 

Our I-Spy Jar is a Ball canning jar - kinda on the heavy side, but we aren't usually running around with it, so that seems to be ok.  I filled it about 2/3 of the way full with plain white rice (these were our pre-rainbow rice days), and tossed in all sorts of random treasures.  Some of the items to "spy" are:
  • a paper clip
  • an old key
  • a small hair bow
  • several different colored/shaped/sized buttons
  • colorful floral stones/marbles
  • animal beads - we have a giraffe, lion, boat, and elephant
  • smiley face pencil topper
  • a tiny ball of yarn
  • a google eye
  • a penguin that fell off of one of my old earrings
  • a screw
  • a foam leaf
  • a small piece of ribbon with a cow and pig on it
I did not seal our jar.  E does not like to open jars, so it's not an issue for us.  She does like me to pour it all into a bowl sometimes for her to sift through, so I'm glad I left it open.

To play, you shake up the jar and find something to spy.  Then you say "I spy something that starts with /__/"  For example, "I spy something that starts with /s/."  The child looks through the items in the jar and tries to find something that begins with that sound.  "/s/ smiley face!"  or "/s/ stone!" or "/s/ screw!"

To make a more individual game, you can print up a card with all the items on it and have the child find them on their own.  I have seen cards with  items grouped in numbers, such as find one coin, two beads, three paper clips, etc.  I have also seen cards with items grouped in colors.  The child can be challenged to find all the items in a category.  If you have two I-Spy bags or jars, you can see who can find the most in a set time, or who can find everything in one category first.

I do plan on getting over my fear of vinyl at some point and sewing an I-Spy bag or two in the future.  I'd really love to do a whole set for each letter of the alphabet.  They have those at the Children's Museum here, and they are AWESOME.  I could sit looking at them for hours, and E likes them too. 

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