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How to Play I Spy – the classic guessing game!

I Spy A Game Tutorial!

I spy is a fun game to play during any occasion. Further, it appeals to children, pre-teens, teenagers, and even adults! It’s a timeless classic that does not discriminate no matter what age. This guessing game originated in the late 20th century, and was actually a version of hide and seek. However, it soon took its own variant as players looked for a less physically intensive version of hide and seek, thus producing the guessing game we all know and love: I spy with my little eye.


One of the benefits of this enjoyable guessing game is that it requires no materials (except your eyeballs, of course – haha!). Although, some games of I spy are actually contained in a book! This is just a platform to play the game, and we’re sure you’re already familiar with some I spy guessing game books such as Where’s Waldo or even his spin off sister series, Where’s Wendy.

How to Play I Spy with My Little Eye

Not only is this guessing game easy to play because it requires no materials other than players who can see, but it is also very simple to understand! Read on for the I Spy game tutorial.

  1. Decide who is going first. This can be done in a number of ways. A player can volunteer, rock, scissors, pick the shortest straw, etc.
  2. After picking who is going to be guessing first, have the other player mentally select an object that they can see within both player’s line of sight.
  3. Next, the player who selected the object (not the guesser) gives hints to the player that describe the object they’re looking at without revealing the name of the object itself. For instance, if the object is a banana, then the spyer might say something along the lines of “I spy something yellow!”
  4. Keep giving hints until the player correctly guesses the object.
  5. After the right guess is made, you can choose to end the game, or continue another round. When changing rounds, players typically switch roles, with the guessing player now becoming the object selector, and vice versa.

Team Size

Generally, games of I spy are played between two people. Although technically, there can be variations of the game made to accommodate larger party sizes. In this case, you can have numerous guessers, but there still can be only one spyer/object selector.

I Spy Playing Time

The average playing time is mostly dependent on the difficulty of the object designated to be guessed, as well as the deductive skill of the guesser. On average, each object should take no longer than five minutes.  If it goes beyond this, help out the guesser with more obvious hints!

I Spy Video Tutorial