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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Halloween I-Spy Bottle

Happy Halloween!

Okay, okay! A little premature but I LOVE Halloween and I can't wait to get started! If you are planning on any DIY Halloween projects now is the time to start preparing!

About this time last year my "Dream Team" room moms and I were brainstorming some Halloween craft ideas to do with kindergarteners. Yes, I really did say "dream team" because we were! Room moms of the highest caliber. The Olympic gold medal winners of room moms! Rock star moms! (Yes, let me toot my horn! We worked hard!) All humbleness aside, Mrs. K, Mrs. M and I worked really well together. I believe a key component to our success was that all three of us have backgrounds in education and know how to create a lesson plan and carry it out. This was truly a plus!

Our first craft that we had to plan for was for Halloween. While there are so many fun and creative ideas out there we had to keep a few things in mind:
  • the craft had to be completed in an hour;
  • we were totally dependent on the kindergarten parents for donating the supplies and;
  • the craft had to meet the common core standards (this particular one had to do with 3-dimensional shapes) 

Initially I thought about having the kindergarteners make finger puppet ghosts (see the link here) but in the the end we decided to make Halloween I-Spy bottles!


While it wasn't my first time making I-Spy bottles with a group it was my first time making it with a group this large. We had to plan for approximately 75 kids! Each kindergarten class was responsible for collecting their own supplies and doing all the prep work before craft day. In case you are considering making these with a large group this is what we requested for each kindergarten class:

  • 24  (16.9 oz.) empty water bottles WITH lids. Smooth bottles (with  the least amount of ridges) works best. 
  • 20 lbs white rice
  • Orange food coloring
  • 5 x large plastic bowls to hold 5lbs rice (ex. large ice cream tubs or plastic witches’ cauldron)
  • 24 quart Ziploc bags 
  • 24 (3oz or 5oz) paper or plastic “bathroom cups” (to pour rice into funnels) 
  • 8+ sets of 24 small trinkets
  • Construction paper (to make paper funnels)
  • Scotch tape (for paper funnels)
  • Hot gun and glue sticks (to only be used by an adult)
  • Permanent marker or(to put names on lids, mark bottles “do not fill past this line”)
  • Wax paper or cookie sheet (to dry colored rice) 
  • Optional: camera, printer paper, laminating machine, ribbon, hole puncher, scissors (to make I-Spy tags)
  • Paper towels, spray bottle/cleanser to wipe tables down; broom and dustpan; trash bag for clean up
  • Paper towel/toilet paper roll to show the students that a water bottle is a 3 dimensional shape
    The prep work before craft day consisted of: cleaning the bottles; removing the labels and any sticky residue; dyeing the rice; bagging the trinkets; making paper funnels; and making a sample of the craft to show the students on craft day. We also made made a laminated tag to attach to the bottle that had a list of items on one side a picture of the items on the other: 

    One of the cool trinkets we put into our bottles was a bean ghost:

    Simply draw eyes on white beans! It is easy and inexpensive to do and the kids can draw the faces themselves! Thanks to "Chasing Cheerios" for the idea! 

    While it was a lot of work for a group this large the kids had a great time and absolutely loved it! As a matter of fact, at the end of the year I had one student tell me the I-Spy bottle was their most favorite craft ever! 

    Many thanks to my Dream Team! Mrs. K and Mrs. M! 

    For other Halloween craft ideas check out some things I have done in the past: spider lollipops, milk carton lights and spooky specimens jars! Or plan a Halloween feast with worm spaghetti and blood sauce! It has become an annual tradition that the kids look forward to every year!

    Happy Crafting!

    P.S. If you would like a sample of the lesson plan we created please let me know. I will be happy to email it to you! You can tweak it to fit your needs.