Preschool Craft Corner: Super Sleuths

Sensory I Spy

‘I Spy’ bags are fun to make and offer hours of entertainment and discovery, without the mess that great discoveries often create.  Sensory bags can come in many varieties and can serve different purposes depending on a child’s age.  Younger children will benefit from fine motor movement development and object recognition, while older kids can practice counting, numbers, object recognition, and letter/object association amongst other skills.  

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Materials Required

  • a ziplock bag small or a soft, clear pencil kit
  • rice, oats, lentils, beans, sand, flour, popcorn kernels etc. (just about anything)
  • beads, small figures/miniature toys, coins (something that won’t be missed)*
  • duct tape

*Older kids will benefit  from using themed objects (letter beads, certain numbers of the same object etc.) depending on their learning level.

I-Spy Bag (Option 1)

Step one:

Empty and/or clean out your bag. Ensure proper closure is possible!  Make sure your objects are clean and dry.

Place your objects into the bag. Make sure they are large enough to be seen, but not so large they cannot be easily moved.

Step two:

Fill the rest of the bag with your chosen filler (rice etc.).  The objects and filler must be able to move around the bag for the I Spy game to work. 

Fill about full.  You will not want the bag to be a big bulging mess, so keep it rather flat when checking the fill level.

Step three:

Seal your sensory bag.  Bags should be duct-taped at least around the entire unzippable side.  They look the best and last the longest when each side is duct taped.

Step four:

Enjoy!  You can play a verbal game with your child (can you find the penny), or you could create a checklist (whether visual or verbal). 

For the youngest kids, simply moving the bag around and looking for tiny details and changes is enough entertainment and learning (think fine motor skills, attention to detail, and object recognition).

Check out the inspiration here!

I-Spy Tray Activity (Option 2)

For those that would prefer a less permanent or a more versatile ‘I Spy’ game, a tray activity version of this craft is also possible to create!

Step one:

Find a flat surface, a tray, or a contained space to lay out objects.  Choose objects of various sizes and colours and place them within your confined space or on your tray.  You can refer to the classic I Spy series for some inspiration! 

For younger children, use larger objects and less of them.  It is also a strong choice to use objects that are familiar or ones that a child is in the process of learning about. 

Step two:

Choose your game and get playing!  You can attempt this I SPY for various levels.  Little ones may be more interested in grabbing and feeling the objects.  Older kids can play with restrictions and trickier rules (find the blue object, the object that starts with a ‘C’, or something used in a sport).

This game is a fantastic opportunity for older kids to take a leadership position as well!  Have an older sibling or friend lead the activity and work with the younger child to find and name the objects.

Check out the inspiration here!

Colouring Sheet

Paw Patrol’s Chase is super clever, and he is on the case!  Colour him in and do his sleuthing activity to test out your smarty pants, your thinking caps, and your eye for detail.

Send us a picture of your artwork at for a chance to be featured in next week’s newsletter and blog post.

Looking for more?

Keep your little ones busy with craft and activity ideas from the library blog! 

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