‘I spy’ is a game that can be played anywhere
Why do it?
We can play ‘I spy’ with tamariki so that they:
- have a playful way of strengthening their thinking, problem-solving and language skills
- enhance their observation skills
- can practise taking turns.
How to do it
- Make it easy to start with, so your tamaiti experiences success.
- Try playing ‘I spy’ while sharing a picture book together, using objects shown in the pictures.
- Instead of using the letters of the alphabet for clues, use shape, colour, size, texture, length, weight, speed, or what something is made of or used for.
- In English the tradition is to say, ‘I spy with my little eye something that’s... [blue], [round], [furry].’ How would it be said in the language of your whānau?
- Tamariki can have a guess or could ask questions to get extra help: ‘Is it in the car or outside?’ or, ‘What shape is it?’, ‘Is it red?’
- If they guess it correctly they then have a turn to choose something of their own for you to guess. But if you think they’re struggling or getting bored, give them some more help.
Other ideas — Ētahi atu whakaaro
- Change from ‘I spy’, to ‘I hear’, ‘I smell’ or ‘I’m thinking about’.
- Use different clues such as, ‘I’m thinking about something / someone / somewhere that...’ For example, ‘I’m thinking of somewhere that there’s a fish pond.’
- Rhyming words can be clues too: ‘I spy with my little eye something that rhymes with ‘mouse’, and it’s got doors.’
- When your tamaiti is ready for a challenge, try using the ‘sound’ of the starting letter. For example, say something like, ‘I hear with my little ear something that starts with “d”’ (dog, digger, doorbell) or, ‘I smell with my little nose something that’s cooked in the earth’ (hāngī).
Using more reo Māori
|Te reo Māori||English|
|E kite ana ahau I||I see|
|Kei te rongo ahau i...||I hear|
|Kei te rongo ahau i te kakara o...||I smell|
|Kei te whakaaro ahau mo...||I am thinking about|
|Tētahi mea whero||Something red|
|Porotaka porotaka Round (in shape), circular Maori | Modifier||Round|
|Porowhā porowhā Square, four-sided Maori | Modifier||Square|
|Tata tata To be near, close, nearby, closely, about, suddenly Maori | Verb||Near|
|Pāmamao pāmamao Distance Maori | Noun||Distance|
|Mākohakoha mākohakoha Smooth. Maori | Modifier||Smooth|
|Taratara taratara To be prickly, spiky, rough, coarse Maori | Verb||Rough|
|Roa roa To be long, tall, slow Maori | Verb||Long|
|Poto poto Short Maori | Modifier||Short|
|Taumaha taumaha To be heavy, very ill, serious (illness), ailing, severe, harsh, onerous Maori | Verb||Heavy|
|Māmā māmā Be light (not heavy), easy, less restricted, simple. Maori | Adjective||Light|
|Tere tere To be quick, swift, fast Maori | Verb||Fast|