I Spy!

With my Little Toddler Eye...

Preparation time: None! (Although 'I Spy' can make good use of a few colorful props. See our 'Tips' section below for some ideas.)

Clean-up time: None! This toddler activity is completely mess-free!

Game Duration: As long as you like, but generally between 5 and 15 minutes. (Warning: Older toddlers and preschoolers may insist on playing for much longer than 15 mins. If you tire of the game, try 'spying' a distraction (ex: delicious cookies!) and then start another activity!

What you will need: This is a truly versatile toddler game and can often be a real life-saver. It can be played anywhere, anytime. (Exception: Is it pitch black? Can't see anything? Then you're out of luck. Chances are, though, if it's that dark, you all should really be sleeping. You can play first thing in the morning!)

How to Play:

Set yourself up in front of your toddler. Lay a blanket or towel down to be a neutral background between yourself and you toddler, and place an object on the background (hide the others behind your back). Make a "spy glass" with your hands and place them up at your eye and say:

"I spy with my little eye..."

then point your "spyglass" in an exaggerated way to the object

"...something that is GREEN!"

Then ask your toddler what it is and repeat what they say adding that it is green. For example,

Toddler: "That cup!"

You: "Yes! A green cup!"

For toddlers who are not yet speaking many words you can provide the words for them, while still respecting what they do say. For example,

Toddler : "da da BA!"

You: "Yes! That's a green cup!"

Continue to introduce objects one at a time until your toddler is done playing.


  • When first introducing this game it is helpful to have some props prepared, objects small enough to fit on a receiving blanket or towel, that are brightly colored. It is even better if all the objects are the same, for instance a stack of cups in all the colors of the rainbow, but it isn't necessary. Later on when you are sure your toddler knows many colors, and is aware of what you are referring to when you name a color, then you can play the game pointing out objects in your environment.
  • Start pointing out colours in your surroundings! A green tree, green car, etc...

  • For older toddlers put out different shades of the color and learn about light green and dark green and maybe even chartreuse!

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