Going on an I spy walk in preschool

Our preschoolers loved this little I spy game!

This activity was inspired by Nanette Sposito of Little Wonders Preschool. Nanette presented photos of an entire I-Spy theme of activities on Facebook that her class did over the summer and I just loved it.

I created a little picture-checklist for the children to use as clues for what they needed to find in their I-Spy game. The teachers took the children around the school to see if they could find the items on their checklist. Each time the children found an item on the check list, they put a mark in the box to show they found it.

The checklist included items that were both inside and outside.

We searched for a shovel…

We searched for blocks…

We searched for a mouse…

The children enjoyed running around the classroom looking for the items on their list then stopping to put a mark by each item.

I decided that this activity was worth trying again during the school year. The activity could be modified to “I spy the color ___”  or “I spy things that start with the letter ____”.  Yes, I am going to have to get busy and make up a few more checklists:)

I also realized that this activity would be a great “back to school” activity as it could be used to introduce the children to the classroom and where things are around their school.

By |2010-09-23T06:00:53+00:00September 23rd, 2010|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Amy A September 23, 2010 at 7:35 am - Reply

    My little ones absolutely love doing this! We have expanded it with some of the older children letting them take actual “I spy” photos of items. We have a lot of older digital cameras and the children love taking pictures. So, in addition to the checklist, they can take photos to show that they did indeed find them. I love to move this activity outside and do an I-spy walk through our neighborhood or to the park. it is always fun to put the photos into a ppt or slideshow to show everyone what was found, especially when you have a broader category of things to find!

    • Deborah J. Stewart September 24, 2010 at 12:02 am - Reply

      I want to do this again and take it outside more too! I love the Photo-Op idea!!

  2. ELIZABETH September 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    I often use some sort of searching game for children, and definitely always promoting using their senses.
    I love this one though – any child who knows I SPY will love it.
    Thanks so much.
    I will include this in our nature field trip next week. I already have checklist for each child, but just to change the idea of it to “I SPY” will get everyone excited!

    • Deborah J. Stewart September 23, 2010 at 10:05 pm - Reply

      Oh, you could really do lots of terrific nature I Spy ideas! Your class should have a ball with it!

  3. Tami September 26, 2010 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    I spy a nature walk for this week, thanks for sharing you always have fun learning ideas. Now all I need is a check list.

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