This post is a follow-up to last Sunday’s Tiny – Cool Colored Rice post. The rice coloring was such a fun project in and of itself, that I decided just to focus on that. I chose this week’s Unplugged Project theme of container because it fit nicely with our original reason for making colored rice in the first place: A “Find It” Jar.
For a while now I have eyed these “Find It” games, thinking they would be fun for the car, travel or restaurants. But the the potential fun factor never seemed to justify the price, so I have never bought one.
With a long plane ride to Europe in our near future, I found myself once again considering buying one for the trip (would they let this through security?). But then it occurred to me that this could be fun and easy to make, so we decided to give it a try!
You’ll need a jar (a container!), preferably fairly tall and with a wide mouth. I used a glass spaghetti sauce jar, but I would recommend something plastic for travel or young children (a mayonnaise jar perhaps?).
You’ll also need some colored rice and many small objects to hide. I found that light, flat objects (like Legos) did not work very well since they seemed to stay on the surface of the rice. Another idea would be to choose objects according to a theme: nature objects (pebbles, acorns, twigs, shells), or animals (little toy animals), etc.
Tip: Consider the colors of your rice and how choice of color can increase the level of difficulty. You could hide all green objects in green rice for example, or do as I did and hide a variety of different-colored objects in multicolored rice.
Normally you could just make a list of the hidden objects, but since I wanted my non-reading 3 year-old to be able to play too, I decided to make a picture card instead.
I laid out all the objects on a plain white piece of paper (for clarity) and took a photo of them. Next I printed out the photo so my 3 year-old would know what to find:
The final step is to drop the objects into the jar and pour in the colored rice.
Don’t fill the jar completely, otherwise the rice and the objects won’t be able to move around very well.
Put the lid on (tightly!) and shake it up.
If you are worried about your children opening the jar and making a mess, you could glue the lid on. If you don’t glue the lid on however, you can easily change out the hidden treasures for others to keep it interesting.
I glued a bit of ribbon around the lid to make it prettier, but that’s just me being an over-the-top perfectionist and is absolutely not necessary.
Give the jar and list or photo to your children and let them see how many objects they can find. This is my 3 year-old giving it a go:
For older children,you could even give them a timer to race each other. For solitary play, they can try to top their own best time!
NOTE – Storing the Colored Rice: I finally found a use for the lovely, old-fashioned style French soda bottles that I had packratted away in the back of the pantry for years. I keep them on the kitchen counter now because they look so pretty! What do you think?
If you did a container-themed Unplugged Project this week then please link to your post below (not just your blog, we always want to be able to find your container post). If you didn’t do a container project, then don’t link, but please read more about how to join in the Unplugged Project here. We’d love to have you!
The theme for next week’s Unplugged Project will be:
Be creative and enjoy!