Treasure Hunt Bottles

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Sensory bottles for kids made out of colored rice & Dollar store toys. A great sensory activity for toddlers

A few weeks ago, we had to bring our daughter to the emergency room. She had what was called nursemaids elbow, a common toddler injury, which is basically a dislocated elbow. With a quick movement the doctor snapped Mai’s elbow back in place & within seconds, she was back to her happy, smiley, mischievous self. I was relieved. It is a nerve wracking couple of hours.


While we were there, a very nice nurse brought us a cylinder like toy, filled with sand and different assorted shapes and objects. She gave this to Mai to play with as we waited for her x-rays. The toy worked in distracting our little miss from her injuries. I thought this was a wonderful idea, but in all the stress and anxiety of the situation, it was quickly forgotten, until yesterday when I saw a pin for a treasure hunt game.

This reminded me of the cylinder and all of its’ random objects. I thought this should be easy enough to recreate and would have to be more fun to play with, without a big ouchie.

What you will need…

An old soda bottle 20 oz or 32 will do

rice or sand

food coloring

assorted plastic toys small enough to fit into a bottle top

I originally made this with a 2 liter bottle, but found that it was too heavy for Mai to play with, so we transferred it to a 20 oz bottle. This worked much better for her little hands.


Peel the soda label of the bottle. Clean the bottle & let it dry thoroughly


Pour rice & food coloring into a ziplock bag & shake


Pour rice onto paper plate to dry


Insert mini toys into bottle. I went with assorted insects, bugs, butterflies and reptiles. I bought these at the Dollar Store.
Use a funnel & fill the bottle 3/4 of the way with rice.

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Seal top using super glue.

Shake the bottle to mix up the toys

Let your toddler shake & play & point out all of the objects


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With all the left over rice we had, we also made a sensory box.

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The verdict: She loved the bottles. She was shaking it up and pointing to birds and butterflies and laughing. The sensory boxes are always a hit in our house. It was a fun day for Mai. It was a messy day for mommy.


Drop cloths, mommy..drop cloths. Some one hand me a broom.




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