If you have a child in elementary school, you are probably familiar with the I Spy books published by Scholastic and created by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick. I Spy books feature photos of all sorts of objects jumbled together. Readers are asked to find certain objects within the pictures. As a school librarian I see students sit for incredibly long amounts of time pouring over these fun books. If your child likes I Spy books, take advantage of this interest! I Spy books are great springboards for teaching observation skills, creative thinking, and attention to detail. Try these fun elementary level teaching activities using I Spy books.

Create a Rhyme. Each page of the I Spy books features a little poem asking readers to find particular objects. Challenge your child to create an all new rhyme or riddle that will still relate to the same page. There are enough objects on each I Spy page that finding enough objects to write about won’t be a problem. Creating new rhymes is a great way to teach with I Spy books.

Create Your Own I Spy. Challenge your child to look around the house and gather enough objects to create his very own I Spy display. Make sure he follows a theme as all the I Spy pages do. For example, he might gather a variety of small toys, candies, or outdoor items such as flowers and seeds. Let your child assemble the items and then take photos. This fun activity is a great way to use I Spy books to teach creative thinking skills as well as technology skills.

I Spy Book Drills. If you have more than one child, and more than a couple I Spy books, try this fun activity. Read a riddle, or a part of a riddle or rhyme, from one page of an I Spy book. Then let the kids loose to find the right rhyme. Your kids will have to check through each book using their observation skills to find the right photo quickly. Your kids will love the competition of this learning activity using I Spy books.

Fill the Categories. For this learning activity using I Spy books, create a list of various categories. Categories could include “Items that are Red,” “Items that are smaller than a Quarter,” “Items used Outside,” etc. Then challenge your child to look through an I Spy book and fill each category with enough items. You could ask for as little as 3 items from each category or as many as 10. This fun I Spy activity is great for teaching observation skills and practicing spelling and organization.

I Spy books are enormously popular with elementary aged children. Use this popularity to your advantage as a parent and employ these learning activities to help your child learn with I Spy books.

There are many spying techniques that you can learn from spy books and they have various sub genres of their own that provide a deep insight into this world, which also have served as inspiration for James Bond films. Another important source to study spy network is https://spyphonetools.com/.