How To Play I Spy

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How To Play I Spy
Kids Playing I Spy

The classic game I Spy is a great way to encourage children to speak English. I Spy can be played in the classroom, online, in the car, at home, and literally any other place you can think of. In this post we will explain how to play I spy, how to play I spy online, and some super fun variations of the I spy game. Let’s get started.

How To Play I Spy

If you’re not familiar with how to play I spy, don’t worry. The rules are simple. Follow these simple steps to play I spy:

  • One player should look around and choose one object they can see.
  • Next, he/she should tell the other players the first letter of the object by saying “I spy with my little eye something beginning with (b).”
  • The players then take turns guessing the word until someone guesses correctly.
  • The player who guesses correctly then gets to choose the next object and the game starts again.

How To Play I Spy Online

How To Play I Spy Online
How To Play I Spy Online

These days many schools are switching to virtual learning and teaching online via Zoom. Luckily, I Spy can easily be played while teaching online. When playing I spy online, the rules off the game are exactly the same. The only difference is there are a lot less objects for the students to choose from because often all you can see is the students’/teacher’s background. So, how do you play I Spy online? Here are some fun ideas:

  • Give students a few minutes to gather some objects from around their room and ask them to place them in front of their webcam where everyone can see them. This way, everyone in the Zoom lesson can see many objects. Then the game can begin.
  • Another way to play I Spy online is to use flashcards. The teacher can show the flashcards to the students one by one and ask them to remember them. Next, the teacher will choose one flashcard without showing the students. The teacher then says “I spy with my little eye something beginning with…” and the students must guess what flashcard the teacher is thinking of.
  • Another fun way to play I Spy online is to find a picture of a scene with many things in it. Next, share your screen with students and then ask one student to choose an object and tell the other students the first letter of the object by using the rhyme “I spy with my little eye something beginning with…”.

For more fun games that can be played online, check out our Virtual Classroom Games And Activities.

Variations Of The I Spy Game

I Spy Variations
I Spy Variations

There are many great variations to I Spy that you can play in the classroom, online, in the car, or anywhere else. Here are 5 fun variations of the I Spy Game.

1. “I Spy With My Little Eye Something Blue”

This first variation of I Spy is great to review colors. To play, one person will look around and choose an object. Then, they will provide a clue to the other players by telling them what color it is by saying “I spy with my little eye something (blue).”

2. “I Spy With My Little Eye Something That Rhymes With…”

This next I Spy variation is great for teaching rhyming words. To play, one person will choose an object and then give them a clue as to what the word sounds like. For example, if the person chooses the word ‘cat’ they might say “I spy with my little eye something that rhymes with (hat).”

3. “I Spy With My Little Eye Something Small”

This variation of I Spy is great for practicing making sentences with adjectives. To play, one person should choose an object and then tell the other students an adjective that describes that object by saying “I spy with my little eye something (small).” If the players cannot guess the answer, then another adjective can be given to give them another clue.

4. “I Spy With My Little Eye Something Beginning With The Sound…”

This variation is great to practice phonics and letter sounds. To play, the person giving the clue should tell the other players the sound that the word starts with. For example, “I spy with my little eye something beginning with the sound (/s/).”

5. “I Spy With My Little Eye Something Round”

This I Spy variation is great to review the names of shapes. To play, one player should choose an object and then give the other players a clue by telling them the shape of that object. For example, “I spy with my little eye something (round).”


Thanks for reading. I hope you now know how to play I Spy and have hours of fun playing this great game. Before you go, check out our post on How To Play Simon Says for another fun no-prep game that can be played in the classroom or online.