Friday, June 5, 2009

I Spy Bags

For an enrichment activity a long while ago, we made I Spy Bags for our kids. It was so simple (after lots of trial and error) to put together, and my kids love them. I decided to take the concept a step further and make some for my kindergarten class. I wanted to reinforce the concepts taught there, so I created color bags and alphabet bags. In the color bags, I put one object for every color inside. (ex: a red button, a blue car, a brown penny) For the alphabet bags, one item for each letter of the alphabet (this one was a lot trickier) and alphabet beads A-Z.
Here's my short tutorial on how to make them:

You will need:
2 7"x7" squares of fleece
1 4"x4" square of clear vinyl (I used a medium weight vinyl, the kind you use for table covering)
approx. 1 1/2 cups of Poly Pellets
various small items to hide in the bag (some examples, button, pom pom, feather, plastic bug, bead, marble, etc. -try and use things you already have laying around your house, be creative...)
sewing machine, thread, scissors
1. Cut a 2 1/2"x2 1/2" square in the middle of one piece of fleece. (I folded my fleece square into fourths, measured 1 1/4" from center and cut)
2. Using a zig zag stitch, sew the vinyl window onto the fleece window. You will have extra vinyl around the edges, trim around the edges to about 1/2".
wrong sideright side
3. *optional* Pin a small rectangle onto the center, right side, of the back piece. Sew around edge, using a straight stitch, leaving the top edge open. This will be a pocket for your item list.
4. Straight stitch the back fleece onto the front piece, wrong sides together, leaving the majority of one side open.

5. Fill bag with Poly Pellets and your items. You need some "breathing space" inside the bag, so that you can maneuver the pellets around and find your objects. Do not fill up all the way, or bag will be too full.
6. Machine stitch the open edge closed.
7. *optional* Make a list of items on your computer, cut and laminate. Place in back pocket.

To take it a step further, I created an I Spy worksheet for the children to fill out as they found objects. I had the letters (or color words) listed on the sheet with a line to write the name of the object found. If you wanted to use this for younger children who cannot read, you can have them check off on the line when they have found the correct item on the list.

This was a favorite activity in my class, as well as a great quiet activity for my children at church, waiting in the doctor's office, in the car, etc. Enjoy!

In case anyone is interested, here is a list of what I put in the ABC bags, if you need some ideas.

a set of alphabet beads a thru z
A: plastic ant
B: baseball eraser
C: plastic cactus
D: plastic dinosaur
E: plastic elephant
F: feather
G: plastic gorilla
H: heart eraser
I: ice cream cone eraser
J: jewel (sparkly bead)
K: key
L: leaf
M: marble
N: necklace (small piece of a plastic bead strand)
O: plastic octopus
P: penny
Q: quarter
R: piece of ribbon
S: plastic snake
T: turtle eraser
U: umbrella (the kind you get in fancy drinks, still folded)
V: Valentine (I just used Valentine paper and folded like a card)
W: plastic whale bead
X: small laminated picture of an x-ray
Y: piece of yarn
Z: plastic zebra


  1. so glad you posted this i have always wanted to know how to make these bags!!!

    still waiting on that recipe :p

  2. These are wonderful. I can't wait to make some of my own.Thanks for sharing.

  3. Nice work! Here are the ones I made for my nieces. I varied the difficulty level by their ages (10, 7, 6, and 5). I was surprised at how much stuff in our home I could find to include, and I had the thought of those little erasers but ended up not needing them. My hubs thought the idea was a little off, but it ended up that even the big people enjoyed messing with them. :>)

  4. Super cute!!!
    God's blessings,
    Sarah :D