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Craft: Treasure Jar | Backyard Nature Crafts

Craft: Treasure Jar

Total Time Needed: 2-3 Hours

Nancy Morrison of Enfield, Connecticut, needed a boredom cure-all for a two-hour road trip with her kids, Elizabeth, age nine, and Erik, four. Her brainstorm: create a bottled version of the game I spy.


  • 15 to 20 small items such as a paper clip, a seashell, a shiny bead, or a googly eye
  • Clear plastic jar with the label removed (we used a peanut butter jar)
  • Pen, paper, and scissors
  • Mixed birdseed (we used about 1 cup)
  • Clear packing tape


  1. Let your child gather a handful of tiny "treasures" from around the house.
  2. Trace the lid of the jar onto paper and cut out that circle. On it, list all of the items your child's collected so players will know what to look for. (Or, print the list from your computer.)
  3. Pour about an inch of birdseed into the jar, then drop in 3 or 4 of the small items. Add some more birdseed, then more treasures, and so on until you're within an inch of the top. Leave that final space empty so the contents will have room to move around when shaken. Screw on the lid.
  4. Tape the list of items to the lid and seal the jar shut with more tape. Give it a good shake, then see what you can find.