Thursday, June 14, 2012

glitter spy jar

This idea started out as a "mind jar"...perhaps you've seen them on Pinterest here, here, and here...and while I like the idea of a meditation jar (it's meant to help a child calm her/himself as the glitter falls) I thought it might be fun to make it into more of a game. Our challenge this summer is more about competing with video games and television for entertainment.

So I combined the idea of the glitter jar with the game "ispy"!

Alfredo was involved in every part of making this project...and enjoyed it almost as much as the finished thing!

First, we went on a hunt for tiny things. Goodness knows we have a lot of them. Toys, charms, buttons, and even alpha-beads that spell out his name. We collected about 30 things. The more you collect and the smaller the things, the more challenging the game. Or wouldn't it be fun to fill it with a bunch of similar things, like dinosaurs, and then search for each one.

Next, we photographed each individual thing, or group of things (for instance, 3 purple beads together). I set those up to be printed 2 each on a 4" x 6" photo paper. Then I trimmed the cards to 4' x 3" oversized cards.

Our favorite part was putting together the jar. The mind jars all used clear glue but I thought I would use cooking oil  (I don't really cook with a lot of vegetable oil but I had a couple of bottles which had turned a bit rancid. You can tell by taking a whiff...rancid oil smells funny.) First we filled the jar 3/4 full with oil. I had this fun tall jar that had contained Looza fruit juice. The tall, skinny jar worked great for us but it will work with any size jar. If you're concerned about using a glass jar, plastic will work fine too. Perhaps you could even use the plastic jar the oil came in?

Next we dumped in some glitter...a combination of colors and sizes. We are glitter rich in this house so we had plenty to choose from.

Then, Alfredo's favorite part of all...he dropped each little toy in, one at a time, watching it drift slowly to the bottom. Some toys floated for a while on top and then took the dive. Fun, fun!

Fill to about a 1/4" from the top with more oil.

Finally, because the idea of an oil slick in my living room makes me crazy, I secured the top with a bit of strong glue. Simply run a bit of the glue around the inner rim of the lid and attach. Clear bathroom caulk would work great too.

For the game, we can play together or Alfredo can play by himself. I think this might be just the thing for him while I'm preparing meals. Choose a card and then see how quickly you can find what's pictured. Some things, bigger toys like the snake, will be easy to spot, while smaller items like the buttons, will be more challenging. Choosing the card with the alpha beads spelling ALFREDO is most challenging of all since we'll have to find the letters in order!

Good cheap fun...

 Have fun making your own...I'd love to see how it turns out!


Amy M. said...

Love this!!! I'm dying to try it! I'm not sure I have as many adorable little treasures as you do in your stash, though!


Lucy said...


AuntLou said...

Does anyone sell those tiny shaped erasers they used to have by the cash register, any more? If you were in a big fat hurry, the animal ones would be a great substitute. I think I have an odd Barbie shoe & I know I have some marbles... Hmmm...!

charlotte said...

I think you are the best Amy on the planet and he is the luckiest Alfredo! xo

Donna said...

It is great that you made it together. A fun alternative would be to collect the objects, make photo cards and then put the objects into a sock or mystery bag to "feel" and pull out to match a drawn photo card.

Debby said...

I love that idea. Alfredo does I can tell.
My 3 year old granddaughter loves I Spy books. At Chritsmas I was so excited to see an I Spy your jar but in a wand. I just thought it was the coolest thing. I may try this with another grand of mine.
Can't wait on your class coming up. I need to get my linen and some new floss.

Anonymous said...

I have a suggestion for a version of this terrific project. Use clear baby oil and water. The water could be tinted to complement the tiny items selected, such as blue for an ocean life bottle or pink for a Barbie accessory theme! Adding a larger plastic item (ruler, cutlery, comb, etc) will add to the challenge (and fun) as well!

I am so glad to be participating this summer in 'Camp Amy/Mommy' with Alfredo!

Adarsh Lash said...

It is great that you made it together. A fun alternative would be to collect the objects, make photo cards and then put the objects into a sock or mystery bag to "feel" and pull out to match a drawn photo card.