Unschooling Mommas

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"Children do not need to learn to be better, told what to do or shown how. If they are given access to enough of the world, they will see clearly enough what things are truly important to themselves and to others, and they will make for themselves a better path into that world than anyone else could make for them." John Holt

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Homemade "I Spy" Books

Do your kids love I Spy books? Did you know that with just a small amount of effort and a scanner/printer that you can make your own personalized I Spy books?

1. Gather random things from all around the house. Flat items work best because you are going to need to be able to shut the lid on the scanner. (This may be a fun way to keep the little ones busy, give them a bucket and tell them to go and gather small toys and who knows you many even get to go to the bathroom alone!)Some things we found that worked really well were: cards,, photos, temporary tattoos, game pieces, jewelry, coins, nails, screws, spoons, and cds.

You can add as few or as many items as you want on a page. Older kids will enjoy lots of items as there will be many different things to look for. You can group items and make themed pages or just put a bunch of random things together.

2. Scan the items and print the page. This is where the kids will enjoy trying to arrange the items on the scanner and seeing how many items they can get to fit on a page. On the plus side, this activity will teach the kids to use the scanner meaning that the next time you are busy and they need a copy of a workbook page or coloring sheet they will know how to scan and print the pages themselves.

3. Put together your book and write a list of things to find. We stapled our pages on construction paper but there are as many ways to put together your book as their are items to add to it. So far we have just been looking at pictures adn telling each other what to find but I am planning on writing down the things to look for later so my daughter can enjoy using her book independantly as well. If your child is old enough or has an older sibling this may be a job they would enjoy.

4. Enjoy! As I was stapling the pages to construction paper I got to thinking, hey this might be a fun wayto do scavenger hunts with little ones as well. You already have scanned items of things from around the house on a page, now all your child has to do is grab the book and a basket and go searching for the items!

When we get our book completely put together it will have about 8 pages but I am sure we will add to it as time goes on. This is also a great homemade gift idea that kids could make for their younger siblings or a cousin.

Here are a few of our favorite pages. 

Coins from around the world: 

Random household items:


Phonics tiles:



The phonics tiles are great for children learning to spell words or for practicing letter sounds. You could also use letters from a Scrabble game or put a math twist on a page by scanning dice and picking out and adding numbers.

*Unschooling Momma Keisha*