Storybook Summer post by Gina of Famiglia & Seoul

My toddler and I just love heading to the library to see what new books we can discover. I spotted a basic “I Spy” book on the shelf and thought this would be a perfect book to introduce him to, since he just loves pointing things out to me every day.

My little guy gets so excited when he learns a new word, so finding unique items throughout these books is a great way to learn new vocabulary. He was so happy to bring this book home and begin to leaf through it!

Not only was he introduced to new vocabulary as we turned each page, of I Spy – A School Bus by Jean Marzollo, but he had a chance to find items that he was already familiar with, which also made him proud. “Car” is one of his all-time favorite words and this book was certainly not lacking in opportunities to spot them!

After we looked through the pages several times, I thought about making our own “I Spy” board for my him to play with. We love heading outdoors to take nature walks, so on our next one we picked a couple of leaves and flowers to add to our board. All I needed to do after our walk was to press them for a couple of nights so the items could dry flat.

Once they were completely flattened, I took a piece of foam and placed the flowers and leaves on it. This board is very basic and could be enhanced with other items found in nature for slightly older children.

After the items were placed, I simply covered them with a piece of contact paper to preserve them for future use.

I started out asking Grady to point to the leaf or to show me the white flower, but after a while I decided to let him have a little more fun with the “I Spy” board. I found a dry-erase marker for him to use and then proceeded to ask him to color the objects that he found. He loved it!

When we revisit this “I Spy” board in the future, I think it would be a great time to help him learn how to circle the objects with the markers. If your child is a bit older, there are several ways to extend this activity. This would be perfect for working on different shapes, characteristics of the items, colors, and size.

You could ask them to:

  • Put a diamond around the purple flower.
  • Circle the pointy leaf.
  • Write the color of the flower below it.
  • Put a square around the largest leaf and the smallest flower.

We will definitely be making more of these since he enjoyed his search! They will also be perfect during the long car ride on our next trip to help keep him occupied!

Gina is former 4th grade teacher tuned stay-at-home mom to a 23 month old toddler who is always on the move, with a perpetually hungry belly.  She now blogs at famiglia&seoul in the form of a diary written to her son, while also recording their adventures during their their 365 Days Outdoors Challenge. Gina feels that a parent should help their child experience nature, arts, meaningful play, and how to simply be a kid, which will help guide them to develop their own unique talents as they grow. You can find famiglia&seoul on Facebook and Pinterest.