I Spy With My Little Eye

All children love initial sound games such as 'I spy'. It is a great way to increase your child's vocabulary and help them start to hear and identify sounds in words….

1. I spy tips

The initial sound is the first letter sound of each word – such as dog and cat

I spy can be played at home, on a walk, in the supermarket, waiting for a bus, reading a picture book or in the car...

When you start the game say: “I spy with my little eye something beginning with ‘c’ ”…

At this point your child will get greater learning value from the game if you can show them the written letter 'c' with with a flashcard, or drawn of a piece of paper, white board or fridge magnet...if you are in the car and have not got any resources to hand to show your child the letter shape - then you can always draw the letter in the air...

Often, when you ask a child what begins with ‘c’ or 'c' is for ?… the child will only have one or two answers, so don’t stop there – ask your child what else begins with ‘c’ – lets think together? Saying: 'together' makes your child feel like it is not a test and they have a team mate for the game.

It is important to challenge your child and build up their repertoire so the child can say “s is for sun, sand, snake, sad, sofa, spider, snail”… This demonstrates that the child has really understood the letter sound.

When the child has found the word you were spying - break the word down into syllables and say - you are right - you spied the s-u-n or I spied the t-r-ee or I spied the r-oa-d...

Remember - to praise your little one - to keep them interested in the game

Our app - abc flashcard songs  (below) is a firm favourite for I spy - during our phonics lessons.  



At the end of this blog we have put together a great list of age-appropriate "INITIAL SOUNDS" … we hope you find them useful.

If you would like us to send you a printable copy of the list - please email -


2. How many words can you think of that begin with… ‘m’…?

Once your child is using a wide vocabulary you can challenge the child by playing games such as thinking of as many words as you can beginning with a specific initial sound?

You can keep a tally to encourage the child to think of more words – children love competition.

Our abc flashcard songs app  really helps a child's visual memory as they can think of the flashcard picture to help trigger what words begin with 'm' such a m-m-m-oon, m-m-monster or m-m-magnet...


3. An alliteration game

Once the child has mastered this game you can also use alliteration to extend your child…


1. QUESTION How many ‘p’ words can we paint p-p-purple?

ANSWER I will paint a piano purple.

I will paint a pig purple.

I will paint my pants purple.

I will paint the pumpkin purple….


2. QUESTION Who can I give my s-s-sausage to?

ANSWER: I will give my sausage to the sun.

I will give my sausage to the seagull.

I will give my sausage to the seal….


3. QUESTION Who shall I ring on the t-t-telephone?

ANSWER: I will telephone the tiger.

I will telephone the turtle.

I will telephone teddy….


4. QUESTION Who shall I cook a c-c-cake for?

I will cook a cake for the crab.

I will cook a cake for the clown.

I will cook a cake for Catherine

I will cook a cake for a cat…





Look out for our next blog: Using Memory Games to learn initial letter sounds.




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