Treasure Hunt Bottles


A few weeks ago, I had a very “bad mommy” moment. I am getting mad at myself all over again just typing this. I was picking up my daughter to sit on the couch, to read her a book about horses. As we were sitting down, I somehow must have wrenched my daughter’s arm and I heard a snap, followed by a heartbreaking scream that is still ringing in my bad mommy ears. I was, of course, utterly hysterical. No mother wants to see there child pained, even more so, no mother wants to be the cause of that pain. My husband remained calm and supportive and together we brought our daughter to the ER. Mai was a very brave little patient. Luckily, they were able to fix her arm. She had what was called nursemaids elbow, a common toddler injury. It 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. This was not my proudest mommy moment but it was at the hospital that I found the inspiration for this project.


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 miss Mai 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I originally made this with a 2 liter bottle, but found that it was too heavy for Mai to play with, so we transferred it to a 20 oz bottle.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.

All this sensory play and cooking has left us with a mess –Up next… Toddler Chores

About The Pinterested Parent

I am loving wife to my best friend & mommy to our smarty pants little girl, who loves to learn, craft & play. I am an artist, a crafter & I am Pinterest addict. When I first started my blog it was meant to be an outlet for my Pinterest addiction. I was looking to inspire & be inspired. What it became was a wonderful journey for me & my daughter in which we chronicle our activities, crafts, lessons & a hefty slice of our life. Please join us as we navigate through this wonderful thing called motherhood.
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5 Responses to Treasure Hunt Bottles

  1. Raluca L.C. says:

    This is such an interesting DIY project. Thanks for sharing this, inspiration comes from the small things that live puts us through.

  2. what a sleepy cuteness on the pics!:)

    Olya from TLV Birdie Blog

  3. Pingback: Christmas Sensory Box | The Pinterested Parent

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