I have a LOVE-LOVE relationship with the “I Spy” book series. When they began publishing their toddler series AND began offering them at discounted rates on Scholastic Books, I wanted to kiss someone!
“I Spy” books are SO GREAT for the younger population for many reasons:
1. Vocabulary development: Oh the things we can see in these books!!! The wide variety of objects pictured on each page lends itself for some great vocabulary expansion for object labels (i.e. object names).
2. Prepositions: I LOVE working on prepositions (i.e. location words) once the objects are found on each page. A simple “Oh where is the (object name)?” or “Where was that (object name) hiding?” is a great way to work on prepositions (next to, above/below, over/under, behind, in, on).
3. Visual and Auditory Memory: How great is the page with the list of pictures your child needs to find? I love to read it, have the child point to the pictured objects on THAT page (while I have the “spy” page covered up)…then cover up the prompt page and have the child try to recall (using visual and auditory memory skills) and find the objects. It’s a great way to train the auditory processing skills of listening and recalling key words early on in development (you can focus on the same processing skills for older populations using the “I spy” older series).
4. Phonological Awareness and Rhyming: I love that every two pages completes a rhyme! Great early phonological awareness skill and helps in predicting the end of the sentence.
5. Adjective development: For many of these rhymes to be completed, several adjectives are used which I just LOVE! It’s a great way to expose a child to adjectives and a fun way to talk about descriptions of objects. I always expand it by finding a different object on the “spy” page and provide a similar adjective (color, texture, size, etc.). It doesn’t have to be one of the objects located.
Anyway, these are 5 of the reasons why I love, love, love using “I spy” books in therapy as well as with my own child.