A great gift idea!! :)
This is the third bag I've made now and they're such a quick and cute little gift idea. The toughest part is finding things to put inside them!
I was going to write up a quick tutorial, but it's been done a few times over so I'll direct you HERE (this is the link to the I-Spy bag I found during my original google search. I glanced at the photo and made up my own method, but this one is simple and straightforward :) I will give some tips and tricks tho, as there are some things I did differently.
I use fleece rather than flannel or cotton for a couple reasons....mostly because I have a lot of fleece scraps. LOL But, I also like that it doesn't fray and has a bit of stretch to it. While looking for some items, it's nice to have a little give in the fabric for manipulating things around. I figured the little one's could use all the help they could get.
Rather than just stitching a list of items on the back of the bag, I take a photo of the items(typing out a list could also work tho!), print it and then laminate it. I sew a ribbon into the outside seam of the bag while I'm constructing it that I then attach the laminated photo to. This means no lost picture! And the kids don't have to continuously turn the bag over to see what else they're looking for...no losing their place. :)
The laminating serves two purposes....protects the photo (Not that kids are usually accident prone or anything, but I figured better safe than sorry *snicker*) and makes it re-useable with a dry erase marker. I also sew a pocket into the back side to hold the photo and the marker. All neat and tidy for mom! :)
For this bag, my aunt gave me a few things that she wanted included inside...some 'Cars' swinkees (little pencil topper thingys) and some erasers. I added a few other things I had laying around as well as a few dollar store finds. I bought the dinos and the ball/jacks and discovered (sadly after the whole thing was already together) that they are actually just a bit larger than I'd like them to be for this kinda thing (they're bigger than normal jacks and the dinos were on the unusually large side too..gotta love the dollar store!). They'll be ok, but they take up more room making it a bit tougher to move them around. So, if you plan on making your own, take my advise and stick with smallish things....things about the size of an average bouncy ball.
I alter the things I include depending on who I'm making the bag for. For example, if I'm making the bag for a very young child, I like very bright and colorful items that aren't too tiny. Makes the items a little easier for the kids to find. When making a bag for an older child, I would use less colorful, smaller items. For an older child, I would use beads, coins, small buttons, etc. I would also make the vinyl window smaller. All things to make it more of a challenge. :)
I used rice as the filler because I have a very large bag left to use up, but you could also fill them with poly pellets! If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I'll help if I can. And if you make one of these I'd love to see them! :)