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I Spy Toys and Games - They Make Great Gifts for Kids

Updated on July 7, 2015
Lily Rose profile image

I am a mom of two beautiful girls (10 & 12). We love to read, play, cook, shop and have fun together. I love to share great products/toys.

Several years ago my sister recommended I Spy books to me for my oldest toddler, who was two years old at the time. I was at Wal-Mart, I believe, and had come across a boxed collection of I Spy A-Z books on a clearance shelf. I had seen I Spy products before but I never really knew what it was all about. So at my sister's recommendation, I went ahead and purchased the set. Happily, my daughter was instantly hooked and she could not get enough of these books; and her younger sister too, soon thereafter!

This particular set we first got contained about 12 small books, each one focusing on 2 or 3 letters of the alphabet. Picture clues and rhymes are used to help children learn letters and their sounds. The first few pages has the reader searching a page full of pictures to find 3 or 4 specific items, the names of which all rhyme and start with the letters that correspond with the book's focus. The last few pages has the reader searching the whole book for several pictures that match and start with the specified sound or letter. This is the main gist of how I Spy books work; some vary slightly.

My oldest is now 4 1/2 and my youngest is almost 3 and they both (still) love these books. They love to pull one off the shelf and lay on the floor and have fun hunting for the "hidden" objects - you can really see their brain working and that has to be good! They now have several I Spy games, from board games to travel card games....many of which I discuss below.

Amazon carries tons of I Spy products. I selected a bunch of favorites to feature below. If you're like me and sometimes get tired of buying useless toys and want to give a child something that they'll love AND is educational, give I Spy:

I Spy Games:

  • I Spy Eagle Eye - This game is for 1 to 4 players and is fast paced - each card and board has only one matching item and when your eagle eye spots a picture on the game board that's also on your card it's a race to ring the bell! The person who rings the bell first wins that round. Ages 5 and up.
  • I Spy Memory Game - With 60 game cards and 15 riddle cards, there are multiple ways to play this memory game and the included instructions tell you all the rules.
  • I Spy Flip Five - Help develop observation skills, dexterity and social skills with this game that's also great for travel. Flip 5 picture tokens and look for matches. Four ways to play.
  • Can You See What I See? - This is a visual game of hide and seek for 2-6 players. Sharpen focus and concentration while you search for a featured object among your set of cards.
  • I Spy Eagle Eye Junior - Scaled now to suit the youngest I Spy fans, from age 3+ - no reading required. Four levels of play keep it interesting and it helps develop language skills, social skills, matching like and similar objects, and word association. See words, match pictures, ring bell and win!

I Spy Card Games - Good For Travel

  • I Spy Memory Game Travel Edition - Take memory matching fun on the road with this travel sized version that includes 24 picture cards and 6 riddle cards.
  • I Spy Holiday Wishes Card Game - With these 48 cards, 2 to 4 players can play to see who can remember the most holiday wishes.
  • I Spy Go Fish Card Game - Do you have a telephone? A man on a bicycle? Go fish! Classic "Go Fish" played with popular I Spy pictures for 2-6 players and 48 cards.
  • I Spy Snap Card Game - Pass our all the cards with classic I Spy pictures to all players. Each player takes turns over their top card - the object is to be the first player to "spy" something that all the pictures have in common and thus claim the cards of other players. At the end of the game, the player with the most cards wins.

Fun Holiday Themed I Spy books include:

  • I Spy Merry Christmas - Ring in the season with this set of two paperback I Spy readers: I Spy Santa Claus and I Spy a Candy Cane, both with rhyming riddles and stunning photography.
  • I Spy Spooky Night - This hardcover deluxe edition invites the reader to locate various objects in the accompanying series of spectacularly eerie pictures chock-full of hidden objects.
  • I Spy Christmas - This hardcover book of picture riddles invites the reader to locate objects among double-page spreads filled with holiday delights.

More Fun I Spy Books to Check Out:

  • I Spy A to Z - Young readers can use the simple picture clues to recognize letters and letter sounds featured on each page. Includes suggestions for parents and teachers on how to use the book to help children learn to read.
  • I Spy: A Book of Picture Riddles - Here is the original I Spypicture book that launched the very popular I Spy series. Each sizable two-page spread features an assortment of crisply photographed items, along with a rhyming litany that serves as a riddle for readers to solve.
  • I Spy Fantasy - Rhyming riddles direct a hunt for a series of objects in each astonishingly styled photograph. Walter Wick, the illustrator, goes to extraordinary lengths to achieve just the right look.
  • I Spy Treasure Hunt - Kids will love to pursue the mystery of the pirate's hidden treasure, narrowing their search with every delightfully cluttered page of this hardcover book.
  • I Spy School Days - Reinforce learning skills with this hardcover edition that showcases basic objects classroom objects. Hardcover.
  • I Spy Extreme Challenger! - Children won't even notice how much they are developing their visual discrimination skills, as well as reading and vocabulary skills, while they have fun I spying with this hardcover book.


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  • dusanotes profile image

    dusanotes 8 years ago from Windermere, FL

    Thanks for sharing these ideas, Lily Rose. "I Spy" games sound interesting - probably could improve someone's memory. Kids need to have interesting stuff to play with. It eventually means they will learn faster if they can keep up with this kind of game. I don't see any downside, though some may say something subversive must be happening because it involves the word "spy." Me, I don't see it that way. Good job. Don White

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 8 years ago

    Once again some great ideas. Thanks!

  • dohn121 profile image

    dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

    I have a niece and a nephew who are of age, so will definitely look into it. Thanks for sharing this, Lily! I'm really out of the loop, as I'm just now learning of this (no pun intended).

  • profile image

    Nelle Hoxie 8 years ago

    I love jigsaw puzzles and a friend recently gave me one of her kids I spy jigsaw puzzles, so much fun!