You wouldn’t typically associate an I-Spy Bottle with fine motor skills. However, in our A-Z of Fine Motor Play series I was keen to put my son’s fine motor skills to the test by creating his own activity bottle. More specifically, I wanted him to make his own Galaxy I-Spy Bottle.
My three year old has started to show an interest in Earth and our surrounding planets. Although the solar system is a difficult concept for a young child to comprehend, he is nevertheless fascinated. I wanted to use our Galaxy I-Spy Bottle to introduce him to the planet names and how the planets visually differ from each other.
Setting up the activity was straightforward. I emptied an 850ml water bottle and removed its sticky label. Next, I poured a 500g bag of black turtle beans into two containers and placed these on a table. The black turtle beans would be used to represent space.
I had originally planned on re-using our 3D planets from our Galaxy Sensory Bin. However, I completely misjudged how big they were in comparison to the opening of our bottle. As they wouldn’t fit, I resorted to printing images of the planets.
I printed three copies of the “Our Planets Word Mat” from Twinkl. One copy was placed on the table and would be used by my son to identify the planet names.
With the other two pages, I cut out each of the nine planets so I was left with two copies of each planet. I took the two copies of each planet and placed them back to back so the image was the same on both sides.
Using a small amount of double sided sellotape I secured the planets to each other. Finally, I laminated the planets and cut them out before placing them on the table with the rest of the resources.
I demonstrated to my son how he could use his fingers to drop the black turtle beans into the empty bottle.
He soon discovered that he couldn’t try and push too many in at once otherwise they ended up across the table.
He kept the bottle still with his left hand whilst using his right hand to feed the beans through the small opening.
Once the bottom of the bottle had been filled with beans, my son added the first planet. He carefully folded the planet in half and pushed it through the bottle opening.
He then repeated the process of adding more turtle beans on top.
Once a planet had been buried in black turtle beans he added another planet. The activity took concentration and perseverance to fill the bottle with black turtle beans along with all nine planets. He was extremely pleased with himself once it had been completed.
I took a small tube of Super Glue and added it to the inside rim of the bottle top lid. Once the lid had been securely closed and the super glue dried, I knew that my son would not be able to open up the bottle independently.
Now we had the chance to play with the Galaxy I-Spy Bottle. My son had to lay the bottle horizontally and slowly turn the bottle it until he could spot a planet. He then used the “Our Planets Word Mat” from Twinkl to match the planets and identify its name.
I was surprised how long the activity kept my son entertained. He thoroughly enjoyed hunting for the planets inside the I-Spy Bottle and proudly showed me which one it was on his sheet.
Our Galaxy I-Spy Bottle makes a great Busy Bag activity as he can come back to the activity time and time again.