I-Spy math bag game

Our I-Spy game uses math bag tokens that we have collected over the course of the school year.  To read more about our math bags, click here.  We use our math bag tokens for many, many things throughout the school year…

I-Spy math bag game by Teach Preschool

We use our math tokens for counting, creating patterns, sorting, learning colors, and many other processes that promote mathematical thinking and exploring.  We also love to use our math tokens for creative art or playing games.  Today, we gave each child a little box filled with many of the math tokens we have collected this year…

I-Spy math game by Teach Preschool

The children were all eager to open their boxes to see what was inside…

I-Spy math game by Teach Preschool

Once the children opened their treasure filled boxes, we dumped them on our large metal tray and spread them out for everyone to see and to set up our I Spy math bag game…

I-Spy math game by Teach Preschool

There are many variations to play an I Spy game, so I will share a few ways we played the game.  You can go around your circle taking turns, asking each child to find an object or you can just play as a large group.

Color discrimination

We had a very colorful assortment of tokens, so we asked children to point out items of a given color.  We would ask for a specific item by saying “I spy a red string.” Or  we could be more general and ask everyone to point out any red object on the tray…

I-Spy math bag game by Teach Preschool


Children bring in five math bag tokens a week.  They will often bring in five of the same object, like stickers or lids.  So by this point in the school year, we had several of the same type of items.  To help promote counting skills we asked the children to find a certain number of items.  For example, “I spy 3 pom poms.”  When the children had gathered their 3 pom poms, we counted them together as a class…

I-Spy math game by Teach Preschool

Size discrimination

Again, because we had many similar items, it was easy for us to compare the size of different objects on our tray.  We would say, “I spy one large button and one small button.”  Or “I spy one long piece of string and one short piece of string…”

I-Spy math bag game by Teach Preschool

Letter or number recognition

We had several plastic letters on our metal tray.  For children who are able to recognize letters we would say, “I spy an M or I spy an orange H.”  We didn’t have any numbers on our tray, but this game would be great for number recognition too…

I-Spy math bag game by Teach Preschool

Shape recognition

We had objects of all sizes and shapes.  In addition to having round objects like buttons and lids, we also had some foam stickers that were various shapes, some glow in the dark stars, rectangular cards, and plastic diamond shaped rings.  Finding some of the shapes was a little tricky, but adding color hints helped our children find them…

I-Spy math bag games by Teach Preschool

This was such a fun game for our children and such great practice with basic math skills!  We all enjoyed this game so much, we will certainly do it again and maybe even make a smaller version of our I-Spy game to take home.

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Building Basic Math Skills (Math Bag Approach) from Teach Preschool

DIY Kleenex Box Math Games from Teach Preschool

15 Hands-On Math Activities from Teaching Mama

Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

Subscribe to My Newsletter

Latest Blog Posts

P is for Pizza!

While learning about the letter “P” we decided to explore with pizza! Pizza is an all-time favorite food for many preschoolers, and activities involving pizza

Read More »