My youngest loves looking for objects hidden in books, such as the I Spy books by Scholastic. Whenever we visit our library’s bookmobile, he heads straight for the section that holds the “finding books.” So when I found an I SPY game on sale at the store, I couldn’t resist.
Overall, it turned out to be a good game, especially for younger children. To begin, each player is given a playing card made out of very sturdy cardboard with a picture featuring a couple hundred objects, such as marbles, blocks, buttons, toy cars, letters, beads, balls, or tiny figures. Each side of the game board has a different picture, and there are four game boards, making eight pictures in all. The rest of the game consists a bell and thirty double-sided playing cards with eight pictures on each.
Players all play the game at the same time. Each player draws a card from the stack and looks at the eight images on the card, then tries to figure out which ONE object is a match with an object on his game board. The first player to find his particular match rings the bell. So, not only does the player have to find an object first, but he also has to figure out just which object he needs to find.
Sounds difficult, doesn’t it? It was at first, even for me; my six-year-old was finding his objects before I could find mine. It was a good game for our family to play together — everyone seemed to have an equal chance at winning, no matter how young or old they were.
Interestingly, though, the game became easier and easier the more we played. The first few times through, we studied the game boards very closely; after a while, when we drew new playing cards, it was easy to recognize which object we needed to find and easy to find it. So, we switched the game boards around, but again, after several rounds of play, it became too easy, especially for the older children. My youngest became frustrated that he could never win, and the older ones were tired of hearing him fuss about it.
Right now the game is back on our game shelf, but I’m sure we’ll pull it out again. We’ll just have to wait until we’ve forgotten where all the objects are hidden.