Tuesday, June 14, 2016

'I Spy Quilts'...

Remember this quilt...it's called an 'I Spy Quilt', made for a very special little boy celebrating his third birthday...Each patch of fabric in this quilt is a different novelty print and no two blocks are the same. Also notice that Mason's name is at the top of the Quilt! 

So...the birthday party is over, the balloons have been popped, the gifts put away but little Mason is still on top of his 'I Spy Quilt' looking at all the wee pictures making up his new quilt! 


  One of the most important quilts that you can make for your child/grandchild is an I Spy Quilt...

 You might wonder what so great about an I Spy Quilt...well for one thing it's more than just a quilt.  It can a valuable learning tool!

Once Mason has 'studied' all of the pictures on his quilt the real learning can begin!

 Here are some Games that can be played with an I Spy Quilt...

 *At the beginning and depending on the recipient's age, you always start with the simple...I Spy With My Little Eye, I see a Cat/Dog/Whale...and remember to TAKE TURNS.  Give your little guy a turn and have him ask you to find something!  Remember it's a social activity as well as helping develop important language and vocabulary skills.  Keep it fun!

*When your child gets familiar with the animals and things found on the quilt move onto colours!  I Spy With My Little Eye...I see something blue. ie. a blue car. Remember the child should point and make an attempt to say what it is...eg. Is it a blue kite?  It's a fun way to learn their colours and build the language around it!

*I Spy Shapes/Description of Objects...Square, Round, Soft, Hard, Shiny, Smooth, Cold, Hot, Furry, Small, Big, Humongous,  etc. I Spy with my little eye something that is smooth, hard and round.  (marbles)  Next time it could be 'I Spy with my little eye something small, striped and made of glass' (marbles).  Keep it different...you're building language and vocabulary skills.

*I Spy Rhymes ...I Spy with my little eye something that rhymes with bat...(cat), wall (ball), cat (hat).  Trust me, the Grade One teacher is going to love you...word families are important in learning how to read!

*I Spy Animal Sounds...Find the animal that says "Quack Quack", the thing that says "beep beep".  This will make the child more aware of the animals sounds around him and expand his knowledge of nature. Besides it fun to make these noises!   I know I used these animal sounds to help teach reading to my Grade Ones.  

*I Spy...whatever it does...eg. I Spy something that is used for writing on a blackboard, used for drawing on paper, We eat this in a pie at Thanksgiving time, we wear this on our head, we throw this, etc. It's all about the language!  Think of as many different ways to describe the objects.

*Use the quilt for beginning reading skills...I Spy With My Little Eyes, I see something that starts with 'A' and say the soft (short) sound of 'A"...like in Apple.  

* Match pictures on the quilt with the letter that it begins with (initial consonant sounds).  Have letter cards (make them ahead of time or make them with the child)...and the child covers the picture with the letter...eg the P goes on the Pumpkin, C goes on the Cat and so on.

*And when the child begins reading you can have him match the word cards with the pictures on the quilts.

*You can also bring math into their vocabulary...count the blocks...count the rows across, how many rows going down, how many cats are on the quilt, how many balls?  The child can even cover the blocks with numbers cards...remember to start small (1-2-3)...and add on gradually.  Even doing 'math', you are building vocabulary...up, down, across, rows.

So there are TEN ideas on how to use an I SPY QUILT!  AND because this quilt has Mason's name on it, he can match all kinds of letters, ie magnetic, rubber letters, cardboard, sponge letters, etc. to his name at the top of the quilt.  He will learn to spell his name at an early age...and it will be in a meaningful and fun way.  He can get a chalkboard, white board, paper, computer and practice forming and printing the letters...all as a fun, playtime activity!

And here you thought it was just another ordinary quilt!!  NOT!  And this is just skimming the surface...I am sure you can think of many, many more ways to use the quilt and have FUN doing it!  Let's hope that by the time Mason reaches the age of 5 or 6 the quilt will be in tatters...That will mean that the Quilt did it's job!  Think of all the social, language, vocabulary and cognitive development that will occur just by 'playing around' with this quilt!

SEW come on mama/grandma...get stitching!  I Spy an 'I Spy Quilt' in your future!

Have a terrific Tuesday and Happy Quilting!~P


  1. Wow, written like a true teacher that you are! I wish I had young enough grandchildren for an I Spy. My 4 grandsons range from 12 to 19. Maybe I'll try a community quilt I Spy. Mason's is so cute!

  2. Once a teacher....great suggestions Paulette!

    Off to day two retreat with Mary Lou!

  3. Well, I thought that I Spy quilts were kind of corny until now! Love all of your suggestions for play!

  4. Priceless photos! What size are the hexagons?

  5. Makes me wish I had made I Spy quilts when I was little--or had one in my classroom when I did my student teaching. I think this list of activities should be included with every I Spy quilt gifted!!

  6. Absolutely amazing! I want to make one for each child I know now! Such an education on so many levels... and no batteries or wi-fi needed! :-)

  7. My BFF's granddaughter is almost three and after seeing your "Eye Spy" quilt and ideas of how to use it, I am bound and determined to make one for her.

    Now comes the difficult part, finding and collecting the fabrics.

    Thanks for the inspiration, Paulette. Great job!

  8. You are amazing Paulette, it's hard to believe that little Mason is three years old!

  9. Have two flimsies made.....for different grandchildren families.....can't wait to get them quilted. Hope they make learning fun!

  10. I think I Spy quilts are wonderful and your ideas for learning are great too. I made one for our now 19 year old granddaughter and planning on making one in the future for our 13 mo great granddaughter! I added a photo of her grandpa and I and she loved finding the picture of us.

  11. I Spy quilts are the best !! I just gave the other day the parents of newborn twins an I spy quilt and a I spy pillow as a baby shower gift. They realy like it !