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Play 'I spy'

‘I spy’ is a guessing game you can play anytime and anywhere.

child playing i spy

Change the words you use to match your child’s age and understanding

Try using descriptions instead of letter sounds, for example, if you see a dog:

  • ‘I spy with my little eye, something that can bark!’
  • or 'I spy with my little eye, something that is furry.'
  • or ‘I spy with my little eye something that is moving’.

As children get older

As children get older they will become ready to play I spy using initial letter sounds and rhyming words, for example:

  • 'I spy with my little eye, something beginning with 'd''
  • or 'I spy with my little eye something that rhymes with frog'

I spy at home

Introduce 'I spy' when you're reading a book together, searching the pictures for clues will help children understand the game.

Then try playing 'I spy' when you're out walking, waiting in a queue or at the park.

You can give your child clues to help them guess too, for example:

  • 'it has four legs and a tail'
  • or 'it likes to play with a ball'.

All of the words you use will support your child's vocabulary to grow.

If your child is enjoying the game, encourage them to take the lead and choose something for you to guess.

Good to know

However you choose to play this game it will be supporting your child's listening skills and language development. When you introduce letters, remember to use the letter sounds rather than using the letter name. This will support your child with phonics when they go to school.