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Publish your own I Spy book New 2020

How to Publish your own I Spy book

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How to Publish your own I Spy book

We are big fans of the I Spy books, starting with the board book versions I bought when Julian was a baby. We play “I Spy” with regular books, too, and now we’ve graduated into Where’s Waldo? territory.

When Julian was four, he and I did a little photo shoot with big plans — still unfulfilled as of this writing — to make our own I Spy book. We ended up with unbound printed photos. As a collaborative project, this is the perfect level of creative partnership for a parent and preschooler.

How to Publish your own I Spy book

On my own, I would get fancier in an effort to make the search and find activity last longer. Plain old printed out photos on my own printer paper is something I’m likely to whip out quickly before a long car ride. I did this one with my kids’ Halloween candy.


To make a more advanced book, use scrapbook paper with a pattern and smaller items.


Pro tip: Don’t use items that your child isn’t familiar with. I went to the junk drawer to grab a bunch of small things and then realized we don’t have names for everything. Lesson learned.

Duplicate items are great. You can say, “Can you find three purple rubber bands?”

DIY I Spy Book

  1. Set up a solid colored background on the floor. We used a foam play mat in the first photos and I used a thin piece of fabric for the candy.
  2. Gather a laundry basket full of {insert nice word for “junk”}. Include favorite objects and personal items.
  3. Spread your items on the background as you like. Since there’s no wrong way to do this, let your preschooler help.
  4. Try to talk your preschooler out of being in the picture himself. I failed. See above.
  5. Photograph the scene from above.
  6. Arrange new items and repeat.
  7. Upload set of photos to your choice of photo book makers and order yourself a book. (Here’s one from our Shutterfly affiliate)
  8. Alternatively, cheap out and simply print the results on your own printer. Paper clip the photos together to make a set of I Spy cards for use in the car or on the plane.

Another version of this activity is to dump your purse and photograph the results or to do an homemade ISpy game on your phone (forget the printing!) to remember the toys your brought on a road trip.

Shutterfly Photo Books 234x60

This is part of our year-long series Makin’ It with The Rookie Moms.

Keyword: Publish your own I Spy book

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