Fall Nature I Spy Bottle

Fall Nature I Spy Bottle | Mama Papa Bubba

Ahhh…. Autumn.  It’s something we haven’t experienced in the last couple of years, and though I certainly would mind being poolside soaking up Kuwait’s 40 degree heat currently, I’m loving seeing all of the beautiful fall colours pop up early around Vancouver this year.  Of course, Gracen {my little collector of sticks, rocks, and all things nature} is loving it too.  There are just so many fun things to be discovered outside right now!

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Knowing that she’d love it, I suggested that we use our walk to ballet class at our local community centre earlier this week to collect some beautiful fall nature items…  My little explorer was fully onboard and this is just some of what she found.

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When we got home and looked through our treasures, we decided that the items would be perfect for a fall nature I spy bottle!  Grae loves having a photo to serve as the ‘key’ for our I spy games, so first things first, we arranged our items on a solid-coloured background and I snapped a quick iPhone photo of the arrangement.   {Because I knew exactly which bottle we’d be using to create our game, I decided that a circular arrangement would be fun and allow us to attach the photo to the lid, but you can just as easily attach a square or rectangular photo to the side of the bottle and still have plenty of space to see the items inside.}

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With our photo snapped, Miss G began adding our items to our water bottle.  {One of the reasons these plastic VOSS water bottles are great is because the opening at the top is quite wide compared to most.  I also love that the labels come off fairly cleanly and any little bit of leftover residue can be easily removed with something like Goo Gone.}

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While we could have very easily just dropped the nature items into an empty water bottle, I knew that having the bottle partially filled with water would add another great element to our activity…  A float or sink exploration!  Grae loved this part and began predicting which items would float and which would sink before dropping them in.

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Now truthfully, our fall nature I spy bottle was really beautiful with just the nature items and water inside.  But, because Miss G is a seasoned ‘I spy’ player currently {she is 5 after all!}, she decided that we needed to make the game trickier by adding some ‘camouflage’.   Enter water beads!  In sticking with the fall theme, we went with both yellow and orange water beads, but if we would have had red and green ones on hand, we would have added those too.

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Grae plopped the water beads into our bottle one at a time, alternating between orange and yellow to ensure a good mix.  Eventually, our I spy bottle looked like this…

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Isn’t it pretty?  It’s like autumn in Canada all bundled up into a bottle. ☺

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With the bottle ready, I printed off our photo so that it would easily fit on the top of the lid.  {We tried printing it as a 5 centimetre by 5 centimetre photo, as well as a 5.5 by 5.5 centimetre photo and ended up using the bigger one.}

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Then I simply cut it out and used a slightly larger circle of clear contact paper to secure it to the lid of our VOSS bottle…  Done!

Now, because this bottle won’t last forever due to the natural elements inside, we didn’t glue our lid on this time around.  That being said, if you have a little one who may want to open it up and dump the contents all over the place, a ring or two of hot glue quickly applied before screwing on the lid might be very helpful!

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So… Now what?  I spy bottles like this one can be used in many different ways. They’re great calming toys for little ones to explore during quiet times {they’re almost mesmerizing when moved and tipped slowly}, they’re great for independent scavenger hunt-style I spy games {Grae loves trying to find all of the objects in the photo by tipping the bottle and manipulating the position of the objects}, and they’re also great when used for two player I spy games {the first person might say something like, ‘I spy something that is brown, hard, and spiky’ before passing it off so that player number two can try to find the object}.  And that’s just the beginning of it really.  They also just really pretty  when  displayed on a toy shelf and they make beautiful sun catchers when lined up on a window sill.  Let your munchkins be creative and see what they come up with!

Ready for some more fall-themed fun?  Check out what some of my blogging friends have been up to with their little ones…

17 Fall Activities for Kids. So many fun ideas in this roundup!

From left to right:

Halloween Words // The Pleasantest Thing

Fall Leaves In and Out Activity // Still Playing School

Pumpkin Alphabet Puzzles // Modern Preschool

Sunflower Playdough Mats for the Numbers 1-10 // Life Over Cs

Fall Leaves Quiet Book // Teach My Mommy

Pumpkin Count and Clip Cards // Playdough to Plato

Apple Fine Motor Play // Adventures of Adam

Free Fall Themed Mazes // Powerful Mothering

Free Pumpkin Colors Booklet // Stay At Home Educator

Fall Nature I Spy Bottle // {yours truly}

Fall Alphabet // Preschool Inspirations

Fine Motor Spider // Coffee Cups and Crayons

Pete the Cat Pumpkin // Think Magnet

Fall Interactive Book // Liz’s Early Learning Spot

Free Pumpkin Number Mats // The Kindergarten Connection

Fall Playdough Busy Bag // Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Counting with Acorns // Play and Learn Everyday


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