Friday, June 4, 2010

Thinking Thursdays: Treasure in a bottle

We brought Junior J today to the Malaysian High Commission to settle his citizenship application.  We were told we had to bring the little boy there to collect all our forms, only to reach there and be given the forms without requiring the boy's presence at all!  Even though we felt it was quite unncessary to have brought him along, Junior J himself was quite happily occupied during the waiting time since I gave him a new toy: A treasure hunt in a bottle.  

I had read over at Childhood 101 about how you could make treasure bottles filled with rice, and decided to make one yesterday, since I had loads of expired food colouring that was still usable for non-edible projects.  Making it is simple... All you need would be rice (coloured or non-coloured is fine), a plastic drink bottle (yay for recycling!), and little things you could hide amidst the rice for your child to find.

I mixed about 3 tablespoonfuls of water with a few drops of red food colouring (I had read over here that mixing the colouring with water first would help to colour the rice more evenly), and added it to a bowl of rice and stirred until everything was coloured.  You need to let the rice dry before adding it to the bottle, so one way to ensure it dries quickly would be to sun the rice.  Or if you are like me and tend to do these projects at night when your kid is sleeping, you might want to just spread the rice on a plate and leave it in your room overnight if its air-conditioned.   The low humidity helps it to dry out, and the rice should be all ready in the morning when you wake up!

Then you need to fill up the bottle with the rice, I found that using a funnel made from used paper helped to make pouring much faster:

You could add the little treasures midway after some of your rice has been added (I chose a nature theme and used seashells and paper flowers):

And tada!  Your child's very own treasure hunt, in a bottle!  But wait... what's that black thing over there?

Let's give the bottle a good shake... Oh, its a black panther! :)

The boy had a good time shaking, shaking, shaking, and identifying the things he could see... and made growling noises when he saw the panther! 

For this activity, you could use objects that are similarly coloured to the rice to make the treasure hunt more difficult.  Rice is also really good for sensory play, and you could either let your toddler play in a "rice pit", or perhaps set some containers, spoons etc on a table and give them some rice in a bucket to play with (but be warned, it might get messy if they do spill some!).

What other ideas do you have for rice play?  Do share!

Come play at the Childhood 101 We Play link up!


  1. hello! it's a good idea to have a treasure hunt in a bottle! will definately try it out. thanks!

  2. I seriously don't have any idea but I just think you are an AWESOMELY creative mommy. I know you got the idea from Childhood 101 but STILL. WOW.

  3. Hey this is a really cool idea! will try with my kids! :)

    Thanks for popping by, by the way!

  4. This is awesome! Wish I new this idea when my boys were younger ;)

  5. Thanks Wendy, Klessis and Eileen!

    Daphne, hey thank you! Childhood 101 really has some good stuff over there, and has been a major source of ideas!

  6. Thanks for sharing :) will make one for my little one too.

  7. I made it once, but with plain boring rice and no other objetct inside. I like yours!
    Great links, by the way.

  8. LZmommy: :) Thanks for popping by!

    Kira: Thanks! Do pop by Childhood 101, its a great site!

  9. very pretty! but i know my son will prob insist i open the bottle and pour everything out so i don't think this is going to work for me! :)

  10. Thanks for the link, I am so glad you like the treasure hunt bottle, it really is a simple but effective idea, isn't it? And thank you for your kind words about Childhood 101, I truly appreciate your kindness.

  11. that's a really cool idea, will try it out with my kids. I'm sure my toddler will have fun looking for the treasure while the baby will enjoy shaking the bottle and making noise :)

  12. BeanBean: Heee, I guess its probably more useful when they are smaller, and can't open the bottle, or ask you to do it! ;)

    Christie: Oh yes, its really effective! And you're welcome, I've really gotten alot of inspiration from your site!

    Jillian: Thanks! And yup, that's the nice thing about it, it'll suit younger and older kids (unless they ask you to open the bottle hee)...

  13. Wow I remember making coloured rice when I was a kid. I'm so glad I chanced upon this post. Am so going to make these with Poppy soon!



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