diy i spy game for kids

One of Sutton’s most favorite things in the world right now are I Spy books, so I knew this I Spy treasure hunt bag would be right up his alley. I got the idea years ago from Babycenter on a discussion thread about frugal homemade holiday gifts. I had originally intended to make them for my triplet niece and nephews, but somehow the supplies got shuffled to the back of the craft closet, and I didn’t see them again until recently!

i spy bag a treasure hunt game for kids
For this project you’ll need a pencil pouch with a large clear window (I got mine at Walmart for $.97), 20-25 small flat-ish objects, poly-fil micro beads, some strong glue and a ribbon or something to seal off the zipper area of the pencil pouch.

The directions couldn’t be any easier…fill your bag with the objects and the micro beads, seal the zipper shut with strong glue (I also removed the pull-tab from the zipper first to keep it flat), and cover the zipper opening with a ribbon. I used a hefty dose of Fabri-Tac glue to seal my pouch and attach the ribbon in one step.

child playing fun find it game
Get spying!

i spy bag and card full of items to search for
I also chose to make a laminated tag to show Sutton exactly what’s inside the bag, but it’s just as fun to explore the bag without a key chart. To make my chart I arranged all of the objects on a white sheet of paper and took a quick photo before stuffing them into the bag. I used PhotoShop to add the text, and I also typed out a list of the objects without photos on the back side to make it more challenging when they get older. The tag is simply attached to the pencil pouch using a binder ring.
small boy smiling while playing game
There has definitely been a lot of spying and treasure hunting going on around here now!

small boy pointing out his finds in fun i spy game for kids
We’ll definitely be taking our I Spy bag with us on our next road trip!

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  1. wonderful idea ! just a question, because I’m in France and don’t know how to translate “poly fil micro beads”. Are there a kind of b”water beads” such as the one you put in a vase ? thank you for your answer !

    1. These are different from the water beads as these micro beads do not expand if they get wet. They are small plastic pellets used for stuffed animals, bean bags, etc. You can see what I’m referring to here: Thanks for stopping by! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Just so you know, Wal-mart no longer carries pencil pouches with clear windows. My dollar store does not carry them, nor did the other dollar stores I checked. The workers just said the item wasn’t very popular. However, because I have a group that will make these, I just ordered a case off of the dollar store website. We have limited colors, but we didn’t have to spend $3 per bag.

  3. I my goodness – – I have been cleaning my craft room and found my microbeads and box of charms I was going to do for easter gifts about 3 years ago. My problem – I don’t sew! Thank you so much for this brilliant idea. This I can pull off. THANK YOU!!

  4. Heidi, could I use rice instead of the micro beads? I have seen the tubes with rice and was wondering if I could use the same types of stuff.

    1. Hi Lydia! I’m sure you could use rice instead of the microbeads…just make sure it doesn’t get wet! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Love this!! I am a preschool teacher and I made an eye spy with soda bottles and rice, but the kids had a very difficult time finding the objects. Your flat ones will be better for me to put them away and trade out for different themes.

  6. Just stopping by to let you know that I’ve featured your craft on Family Fun Crafts! You can see it here:

    If you have other kid friendly crafts, I’d love it if you would submit them. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you would like to display a
    featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above.

  7. I stumbled across your blog from pinterest and was curious if you like the pencil pouch better than fleece and vinyl. I am planning to do this activity for a “craft” girls night out, so any helpful information would be awesome. Thanks!!

  8. Love this!! I have I Spy Bags on my “to make” list, but never get around to actually sewing them. I’ll get these done so quickly this summer!

  9. Genius! I’ve made Eye Spy bottles and sewn several out of clear vinyl and flannel but the vinyl always sticks and they were so AWFUL to sew together. I have tons of the fillers so I’m going to do this this week!

  10. I’ve sewn these before but I think this is such a great idea. It would be fun for older kids to make themselves at a party.

  11. Lisa, we used to have a party supply store in town that sold the items individually for $.15 each, but unfortunately they have recently gone out of business. They had aisles and aisles of bins of different objects, and I just went around and chose the ones that I thought would work the best ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. This is a great idea. I have never seen it done with a pencil holder, what a good idea! Where did you find all the flat items and did you have to buy them in bulk?