Sunday, February 12, 2012

'Look and Find' Valentine Gifts

So, I know that it's February 12th and therefore that Valentine's day is two days away, but I just got these things done today and wanted to share.
Have you seen those 'look and find' bottles at the toy stores that are full of tiny beads (or some other such filler) that you turn it 'round and 'round trying to find the objects inside? It's like "Where's Waldo" in a bottle. But replace Waldo with little objects.
Anyways, back when I made the portable sensory table kit, I got the idea to do these for Valentines. It boiled down to me wanting an excuse to make more colored rice.
Here's what you do. Save up some empty plastic bottles. I had my bottled-water drinkin friends save theirs for me. (I made 30 of these things!).
Color rice as directed in the Sensory table post. Here is my 20 pound bag of rice! That's over 200 servings! Wow! I did end up using a total of 25 pounds of rice to do 30 Look and Find bottles (so a little under 1-pound per bottle).
The girls had fun helping me color rice. Yeah for gallon-sized ziploc bags. I decided to go with rainbow colors for this project. Pretty!
But you could do whatever color combo you want to suit your little gift-giving needs. How about red and green rice for Christmas? Festive!
Find a variety of small objects. I used these items:
Two legos, a lego tire, a lego flower, a flower bead, a penny, a tiny safety pin, a red button, a red square (also a lego piece), a tiny plastic seashell (found in my scrapbook stash), and a little heart (from a necklace I tore apart from the dollar store). Arrange them on a solid background and take a picture.
Get a funnel. Gather your family, and the little dustbuster hand-held vacuum because you are going to need it. Parents control the funnel, and the kids pour small scoops of rice in at a time.
Using the funnel, put in a little rice. Then an item or two, then more rice, and so on, until all the objects are used and the bottles are nearly full. You have to leave a little space at the top so the rice can move around and you can find the objects. I had 11 objects in these bottles and it was just about right. Look! There's the red button!
I took my little picture of the objects on a flashdrive to the self-serve photo printer at Walmart. I chose 4x6" collage print and crammed six copies of the picture onto the collage so they'd print small. Then, using my trusty packing tape, I carefully 'laminated' the pictures to the bottles.
Since these were Valentine gifts for our classmates, we had to make Valentines to go with them. I printed some up in my PrintMaster program (using the business card template so they printed 10 to a sheet), and printed them out on cardstock:
The girls wrote their names on them and I helped them get the googly eyes glued on. Then I hole-punched them and tied them with a pretty ribbon to the bottles.
**Update**when I went to put these in a bag for the girls to take to school, the googly eyes started popping off!! Apparently elmers glue and googly eyes don't play well together! So, I scrambled to my scrapbook room and dug out the glue-dots.... so far so good on those!***
Joila! The finished product! I'm so excited with how these turned out. They were fun to put together, a fun project to do as a family, and I think they will be fun for those who receive them too!
You may not have time to whip some up for Valentines day, but file the idea away in your head for a future use! For bigger kids, I think it'd be fun to use 2-liter bottles, and give them more of a challenge!

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