To get ready for a family road trip, I’ve put together Eye Spy bottles to keep the kids busy in the backseat. We seem to own one of the only cars left in America that doesn’t have a built-in TV, so we do “old school” entertainment on the road. These bottles are a great way to recycle materials and entertain your kids for almost no cost—just collect the supplies around your house. Hopefully they’ll bring many miles or years of entertainment.


  • rainbow rice (can substitute white rice or bird seed)
  • small trinkets or knickknacks—here are some ideas:
    pom poms
    birthday candles
    paper clips
    old keys
  • color paper
  • no-heat laminating cards
  • super glue


    Eye Spy Rainbow Bottle - Red Trinkets

  1. Gather trinkets in a variety of colors. Make sure that the trinkets can fit through the bottle opening.
  2. Sort the trinkets by color and place them on matching colored paper. Photograph each of the color groupings. The photographs will become "spy cards" to go with each bottle.
  3. Fill the bottles with treasures and rainbow rice. Leave some room inside for the rice and treasures to slide around—then kids can tilt theEye Spy Rainbow Bottle bottles and bring different items into view. If you have more than one child, you may want to make a few bottles and label them for each child. Super glue the lids so all the rice and trinkets stay in the bottle!
  4. Laminate the spy cards to make them durable and kid-proof.
  5. Time to play. Here are just some ideas:
    • Eye Spy Rainbow Bottle - Spy Cards

    • Find and count as many items of one color as possible.
    • Challenge the kids to find one particular trinket.
    • Make up a silly story using the objects the kids find in the bottle.

MaryLea Harris is a mother of two and a former elementary art teacher to more than 500 students. She lives in the DC metro area where she likes to create, play and explore with her kids. MaryLea shares their adventures and more than 600 "craftivities" on her blog, Pink and Green Mama. Bring a smock!

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