Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Tots on a Tuesday {I-Spy jars, with a writing prompt idea thrown in for free..}

Today, I want to share with you something I made, as per the request of my lovely friend, Christine.

It's an "I-Spy" jar.

The principle behind it, is to have your children say what they can find in the jar. The jar is filled with rice, along with little objects, hidden inside.  I also dug out some glitter and added it in, because it made it more fun!  Crucially, you super-glue the lid on, so make sure everything you want is in there.

 No super-glue = mega-mess alert...

I had tremendous fun, picking up all the random odds and ends my children keep littering the floor with, and spiriting them away for using in my I-Spy jar! Seriously, I was like some kind of crazed woman, who, instead of finding things and thinking "that's going in the bin", thinking "ooooh, I could put that in the I-Spy jar"!! I collected so many that I have enough to make more than one jar. Except, well, I don't have another jar at the moment. I have, in the waiting, a one-legged Playmobil person, a tiny platypus from a Kinder egg, and a wooden seagull, along with other flotsam and jetsam!

I decided to theme the jar - this one is "colours".  I tried to put in something of each colour, for them to find.

Here's a few of the things I put in.

There are loads of ways you could use this. You could give clues "I spy with my little eye, something that's like a rabbit's tail".  That would be the white pom-pom in there. Or, "I spy with my little eye, something round, the same colour as a carrot".

I plan to make a little "tick chart" with all the items in there, listed, with a check box beside each one. I will print, and laminate, so they can use dry-erase markers on there. Then, it will help with motor skills, learning to tick them off the list.

You could do shapes, vehicles, numbers, animals - anything you can find in "mini" form, you can put in there! Little, laminated pictures, could also work, making it more of a challenge, because they would need to be facing the right way to see what's on them!

I also thought of a writing prompt idea, for older children. You could have a jar each with nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs. The child shakes each jar, and the first word he finds in each one, is used as the basis for a story. Alternatively, you could have a jar each with places, people and objects, again, as a story writing prompt.  You could simplify it further for younger children, and have them use one or more of the jars as a sentence prompt. You could have a lot of fun making up silly sentences! I know, from experience, that, when it comes to writing, having a fun element can help inspire a child, no end!  For younger children, you could also have a jar for each of the word type categories, and they could add new words to them, as they think of them, so they are contributing to the sentence building.  If you do this, then you can't super-glue the lid, so you would have to make sure they don't take the lid off, or put it on wrong, or you could have one, big mega-mess!

If you have any other suggestions for an I-Spy jar, or something similar, please share them with us!

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