Colorful and educational rice bottles for preschoolers

I have been playing around with rice bottles to see what I can do to make them both fun and educational. I love all the different versions of rice bottle, also called “I Spy” bottles, I have seen on other blogs and since I whipped up all that colorful rice a few weeks ago, I have really wanted to make a few of my own….

This bottle of rice has little rubber ducks and fish I bought from the Dollar store. Since the toys were squishy, I could squish them to fit into the lip of the bottle. I then added rice but decided not to fill the bottle completely full so the animals would be easier to find..

I have been saving water bottles for awhile now. I have made sure they are all dried out and wrapper off. After putting rice and toys in each bottle, I used hot glue on the lids so the lids would not come off as the children play with them.

This little bottle has rubber snakes, rats, bugs, and spiders in them – yuck! Also from the dollar store…

This bottle is filled with crayons so the children can practice their color recognition…

If I make this again though I will use smaller crayons. I filled this bottle all the way full of rice….

And this is my dice rice bottle. I found a package of 10 die at the dollar store but again, if I make this again I will only add about 5 rather than all 10…

I love how the dice pop to the top of the rice as you shake it. The children can work on their counting skills…

And this final one came from an idea posted on No Time for Flashcards. I simply added pompoms to the rice. But I had to add a little rice then a few pompoms and more rice then a few more pompoms.

I had all the pompoms in the bottom of the bottle at first then poured the rice on top but when I shook the bottle, they wouldn’t move. So I dumped all the pompoms out and started over!

Linking up with Let’s Get Crafty and Child Made!

By |2011-03-21T11:00:53+00:00March 21st, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Scott March 21, 2011 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    I Spy bottles are great – and I haven’t made any in a while. I think that’s next on my list.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm - Reply

      I have had fun making them – I keep looking for new ideas of what to put inside each one!

  2. Pam March 22, 2011 at 12:23 am - Reply

    I have to tell you- my plain white rice is waiting, the kool-aid is waiting, I have plastic bottles and lots of colored gems and small shapes to add to the bottles…now all I need is TIME! I think one of these days, my teacher associates and I are going to have to use nap time to make these!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 22, 2011 at 6:20 am - Reply

      Maybe you could make it a class project and make them with the children? Give them all a baggie of rice to do the mixing:)

  3. March 22, 2011 at 7:18 am - Reply

    I love this idea. The bottles look really colorful and the little surprises in there must be very exciting for them. I bet they have favorite ones they want to hold! How fun!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 22, 2011 at 7:23 am - Reply

      So far the favorites have been bugs and any with animals!

  4. Kristin March 22, 2011 at 11:41 am - Reply

    I think I’m gonna make a couple of these for my kids. I’ve seen them on a few blogs now and they look like so much fun!!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      I had seen them for awhile now and FINALLY got around to making my own:)

  5. brenda March 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    I really like this idea, I’ve never seen this version, and it is something that would provide fun and learning. As well relatively inexpensive.
    Thank you for this great idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm - Reply

      I am so glad you like it Brenda – I am having fun trying to make some more for the kids:)

  6. maggy, red ted art March 24, 2011 at 4:47 am - Reply

    Rice bottles are fabulous anyway, but what a great idea to add the objects!! Fabulous. Hours of looking and shaking!

    Thank you for linking up to Kids Get Crafty 🙂


    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm - Reply

      You had lots of fun links there today!

  7. clodagh March 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    This looks like fun. How did you colour the rice? i read the comment about kool aid but we can’t get that here so i am wondering could i use food coloring? Thanks

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm - Reply

      Yes – I used food coloring in some of the rice and koolaid in the rest:)

  8. Darcey March 27, 2011 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    I love these bottles and the little things you found to put in them. I should make mini versions for the babies to shake and look at. I’ve also linked up to this post on my weekly favorites.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm - Reply

      Thanks for linking up Darcey – I have saved some little water bottles to try and make some of these in as well!

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