Make an I-Spy Bag for Your Bored Kid!





Introduction: Make an I-Spy Bag for Your Bored Kid!

If you have ever heard "I'm bored", " Are we there yet?", "How long is this going to take"?, "Elijah touched me" or "Can nail polish wash out of blankets?" then you know that it's important to keep little hands busy and out of trouble. That's where the I-spy bag comes in handy. They are small and can travel with you to's offices, church meetings, road trips or any time you need to have the kids occupied and content.

The pouch is filled with plastic pellets and tiny treasures kids can find by manipulating the bag so the little objects surface to the clear plastic window. On the back of the bag is a list of objects that are hidden within which they can check off as they find them. Or you can play "how many red things can you find" or "how fast can you find all the things on the list", then you can entertain them even longer by asking "can you beat your best time in finding all the treasures". You get the idea. I once had both my kids entertained for almost two hours just by using the "beat your best time" trick. Nice huh?

This requires very basic sewing so enjoy and remember to VOTE!

Step 1: Gather the Goods

-I used wool felt for my bag because it doesn't unravel and is long wearing. You could also use a synthetic felt or fleece.

-For the plastic window I used clear plastic from the fabric store, the kind they sell to cover tables with.

-For the filling I used little plastic bead type pellets that they also sell at craft or fabric stores.,

-The tiny plastic charms are things that I have collected over the years. I love plastic charms. Here is a site that has a nice selection to choose from&.

You can add plastic charms, buttons, a penny, tiny dolls, large safety pin (glued closed), pom-pom, game piece, dice&any little thing that would be fun to find.

Step 2: Make a Few Cuts

1. Cut out 2 pieces of felt that measure 8 X 11

2. On one of the pieces cut out a 4 X 7 window

3. Also Cut a 5 X 8 piece from your clear plastic

Step 3: Get Sewing

1. Pin the plastic window to the felt and sew in place.

2. Make a list of treasures that you plan to hide inside and print it off quite small. Mine measured 2 X 3 and the plastic that I sewed over it measured 3 X 4. Pin the plastic in place and sew it over your list.

3. Sew the back of the bag to the front leaving one end open for turning and adding pellets and treasures.

4. Now turn the bag right side out.


Step 4: Fill With FUN

1. Add your plastic poly-pellets. I added 3 cups. You don't want to add too many or you can't manipulate the bag and find your treasures and if you add too few the treasures don't really hide. Also I suggest using a measuring cup to pure the pellets into the bag because those little plastic pellets really stick to your hands and get all over otherwise.

2. Put in your I-spy treasures. You can add plastic charms, buttons, a penny, tiny dolls, large safety pin (glued closed), pom-pom, game piece, dice...any little thing that would be fun to find. Try and choose a variety of colors and textures.

Step 5: Close Up Shop

1. Fold the open ends of the bag in 1/2" and pin then sew the bag closed. I sewed over it twice to make sure it didn't come unsown when it was played with. If you do this you will have a seam that you can see. I'm not that fussy so I didn't mind, however if you don't want a seam that shows you can fold the 1/2" seam under and hand stitch it. Just make sure you use strong thread and little stitches so the plastic pellets don't pop out.

Step 6: YOU’RE DONE!

You are now the proud owner of your very own I-spy bag. Your kids are going to love it. But the thing I've found most interesting is how many adults like playing with it. Short of grabbing it out of my kids hands I have had quite a few grown ups practically beg for a turn.

Have FUN!



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    18 Discussions

    Great idea!! My aunt made a smaller one for us with the card attached on a string and she also put the letters of our names in there!! This was when we were all younger, but I'm 18 and still love it, and I even use it to help focus during church since my ADHD makes that hard-keep your eyes on one thing and your ears will focus on another!! Great idea, thanks!! :)

    Love this idea! Hope to make these for some great-nieces and nephews for birthdays or Christmas.
    Thanks for sharing your fantastic tutorial.

    I have gone through all of my moms junk drawers, cupboards, and toy boxes and gathered a BUNCH of stuff to make a couple of these. I have my daughter, 2 nephews and a brand new neice to make them for. (Hopefully by Christmas) Thanks for sharing this instructable!!! Im excited!

    I made these for my kids and they love them. I used rice instead of beads because it was easier to find and a little cheaper. I also added a handle. Thanks for sharing.

    Another twist on the I-spy idea would be to just have a bag of lots and lots of little plastic stuff (like it appears you already have) and then just dump it out and play I-spy in the pile. (To make cleanup easy, dump the pieces on a small blanket so you can dump it back into the bag or better yet, make a drawstring bag that converts into a flat drop cloth.) For an added challenge you could have all the stuff be the same color! :) You could also each have your own 3 minute hourglass timer that you stand up when it's your turn and lay down when you pass the turn to the next player. The loser is the one who's timer runs out first.

    1 reply

    What a fabulous idea for entertaining kids! I love it!

    This is so precious and very cunning.  I bet it'd be great to do with all the little knick-knacks that go missing from play sets only to reappear later on.

     I have just found your I spy bag . I think it is a great idea. I will be making some. Fortunately I was just about to give away loads of plastic things. They will be going back into store now!! Thank you for sharing this idea.

    Okay, this is pretty much the best instructable EVER. I can't wait to try this, I have a two year old girl that pushes the limit on being bored. She'll love it.

    1 reply

    Thanks and they are really easy to make and even my 14 year old likes them.