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Thursday, October 13, 2011

How to Make a Busy Bottle

Disney World is really far away.  Really, really far away, at least to a four-year-old's brain.

So, to make the car trip more fun, I put together a bag of new and fun toys for the trip.  My husband and I made this "busy bottle" as one of the activities.

Modeled after one of those 'Where's Waldo?' type of pillows, this was easy, quick to put together, and best of all - very  inexpensive!

First, I cut an index card to the size of the window I wanted to have, and taped it onto the bottle.  (Be sure to use sturdy tape and make tape doughnuts - otherwise your edges won't be straight.)

Next, my husband used some old spray paint from the basement to paint the entire bottle.  After it dried, I removed the index card, and voila! we had a small viewing window.

Then we scavenged for items to put inside it.  As we found things that would work, I wrote them on another index card and dropped the items into the bottle.  When we had enough, I filled the bottle 2/3 of the way full with dyed pasta.  You could also use dried beans, dried corn, rice, etc.  Making the objects you want to find the same size/color/shape as the filler material ups the difficulty level.

I mod-podged the list of items to find onto the back of the bottle and coated it with another layer to seal it in. Then I glued on the lid to make sure those noodles stayed in there.

That was it!  Now it was time to find all those objects hiding inside.  It's not as easy as it sounds!  Tilt the bottle and shake it as you look through the window.  Can you find them all in one sitting?

This entire project cost us nothing to make and was finished in minutes - and most of that was drying time for the paint and Mod Podge!

My Little Man liked playing with this, and it even kept my father-in-law amused while he waited for a pizza.

What do your kids do on long car trips?


  1. Great idea! I wanted to let you know that I have given you "The Versatile Blogger" award on my blog at

  2. Your instructions on how to make this are very easy to understand, but how do you use it?

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  4. Sorry, Anonymous,

    I've amended this post, and hopefully it's easier to understand now!

    After putting it altogether, you look through the window and try to find the objects hiding inside. The goal is to find every object in one sitting, so you may need to shake, tilt, or otherwise move the bottle to manipulate the contents into moving around so you can see more 'stuff.'