Frugal Living » Family Fun » Traveling Spy Game

Traveling Spy Game

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Yeah! It’s vacation time. Whether it’s fun in the sun or visiting family and friends back home, you can’t wait to get there and have fun. All of a sudden, it hits you…that long drive. The kids constantly asking, “are we there yet?” Maybe the kids get really bored and cranky and start hollering, “He’s touching me!” or “She made a face at me!” Well, the Traveling Spy Game can help prevent all that, even if only one person wants to play!

Ah Ha! This game is not what you’re thinking it is…

It’s a great way to pass time, especially on those long road trips; a wonderful distraction for those who are having a rough day; a fantastic game for one or many to have fun, and it’s a game for all ages!

Some other features about this game are:

  • You don’t have to be traveling to enjoy it.
  • It is basically free to make.
  • It will take you less than 15 minutes to make.
  • Due to its small size, you can take it just about anywhere!


1 – 20 oz. Plastic Drink Bottle (clean and thoroughly dry)
2 1/2 c. Rice, approx. (You can use colored rice or small, dried beans to make the game more difficult.)
20 – 25 small Trinkets (Items that will fit in the bottle)
Hot glue, pipe tape, or permanent glue (epoxy, super glue, etc.) – Your choice
1 Minute Timer (Your cell phone may already have this feature, or you can download a free App from your Play Store.)
Item List

To Make
Begin by making the Item List of all trinkets that are being used. You may even consider taking a picture of the trinkets and using the picture as your item list. Click the downloadable Item Listfor an example and blank forms to use.

Add 5 – 6 trinkets to your bottle and about 1/4 – 1/3 cup of the rice (or beans). Give the bottle a little shake being careful to not spill any of the contents.


Continue layering trinkets and rice a little at a time and lightly shaking after each layer.


Do not fill the bottle past the top curve so the trinkets and rice will have room to move.


Glue the lid onto the bottle to prevent it being opened, especially by small children. Roll the bottle around and shake several times to mix the contents well.

To Play
Give the bottle a good shake and roll to thoroughly mix the contents.
Start the timer while handing the bottle to the player.
Player has to point out and identify each item he or she finds in order for the item to be marked off the list.
Repeat the first three steps with each player.
The player who finds the most items wins!


This game makes a wonderful gift for all ages and occasions. Attach the item list, a small pencil, and the timer (optional) to the game bottle with a rubber band. Wrap with ribbon; attach a bow and card.

NOTES: Make some of your trinkets very hard to identify or find – Ex. Extremely small white button in white rice or a black safety pin in black beans. Don’t use chocolate, wax, crayons, or other items that can melt if left in a hot vehicle. Eventually a minute will become too long. Reduce the time by 15 seconds for each player as each player becomes more familiar with the hidden treasures. There are many variations you can put on the general rules of the game; for instance, a speed round with multiple bottles being passed and each player writes down the description of the trinkets found in the bottle during the 30 second viewing.

Click here for the downloadable Item List PDF.

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / pzAxe

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