You’re probably familiar with the bestselling I Spy series of books by Jean Marzollo. There seems to be one on every single topic imaginable and kids tend to LOVE them! In fact, I love them, too! I’m thinking it’s appropriate at any age to practice and improve visual scanning skills. I wanted to create a similar experience for animal lovers like me.

Our Animal Theme “Flip” Printable I Spy Game for Kids is the perfect way to practice important motor and cognitive skills- all while having a blast with friends! The colorful visual discrimination activities will have you wishing for a trip to the zoo, pet store, or aquarium.

Text says: I Spy Flip Animal theme board game image shows game board and I Spy image cards

Recommended Grade Level/Uses

For I Spy “Flip” Board Game:

Preschool kindergarten early elementary upper elementary
special education speech therapy occupational therapy
Animal theme I Spy Flip board game

Animal I Spy “Flip” Board Game

10 Game Boards

40 Playing Cards

Non-stop FUN!

or Purchase on Teachers Pay Teachers

Learning About Memory Skills:



  • Where is that picture located?
  • What characteristics of the object will help me find it?
  • I remember seeing that picture before, how can I find it again?

It’s important for kids of all ages to practice using their memory and problem-solving skills in order to recognize visual details, enhance vocabulary, and follow multiple step directions.

This easy I Spy printable game can be used with an individual child, a pair of children, or a small group.

A few examples of the animal themed I spy images included in this printable are: snake, penguin, whale, llama, octopus, alligator, kangaroo, fox, dog, and frog.

I Spy image cards for I Spy board game with animal theme

Fit the visual tracking game into any part of your child’s day:

  • While lunch is being prepared
  • Fun indoor activity during a rainy day
  • After a classroom activity or assignment was finished
  • On road trips
  • As a boredom buster when the whining begins
  • Occupational therapy games

In addition to exercising a child’s working memory and visual discrimination skills, you might explore:

  • What colors are in that object?
  • What shapes make up the object?
  • What letter does that object start with?
  • What do you see at the side/top/bottom of the page?
Animal theme I Spy Flip game board and I Spy picture cards

What Social Skills Can Preschoolers Learn?

Practicing social skills with the game i spy


  • Turn-taking and patience
  • Positive communication
  • Resilience after a loss
  • Cooperation
10 Animal theme I Spy board games

Why Is It Important For Kids To Practice Memory Skills?

Besides the fact that kids love playing I Spy games, there are so many other reasons you should work on problem-solving and visual scanning activities with your child.

Develop a Child’s Focus: In order for children to be successful in finding matches, they must practice focusing on where objects are and concentrating on how to find them again.

Develop Visual Recognition: Children are using visuals and characteristics to quickly find a specific object. They will have to recognize colors, shapes and other distinctive features to locate the picture. This can be accomplished with fun games for kids.

Improving Short Term Memory: Processing data quickly is a product of short term memory. Practicing using your short term memory can also help strengthen long term memory and the ability to recall information at a later time.

Cognitive Sorting: A child’s brain needs to be able to sort the information of the objects they are seeing in order to narrow down where the specific object is. If the child flips a card with a duck on it, they must quickly sort which pictures are the color yellow.

Animal theme I Spy board game and cards

“My multi-aged group loved this even more than I thought they would! “

My kiddos love this! I use it for early finishers or in the morning while they are staggering in during breakfast. They are very engaged and enjoy playing!

How To Use The Animal I Spy Game Printables

  • Choose your option below to get the printable pack.
  • Print, cut out, and laminate the activity for durability.

Using the “Flip” I Spy Game

Choose how many players will be participating in the game. Make sure to explain how the game is played and possibly model how to play it for them. This treasure hunt is great for younger kids and older kids.

Once the posters are laminated, there are many learning activities you can use them for, including using dry erase markers.

How Do I Play the Animal I Spy Flip Game?

How to Use the Activity

Playing this I Spy Board game is simple.

  • Choose your I Spy game board.
  • Divide the cards evenly among the players.
  • Place the cards face down on the table.
  • All players flip their top cards at the same time.
  • Race to find the picture on your card first.
  • Whoever finds their picture first wins a token.
  • Play continues until the playing cards have all been used.
  • The player that has the most tokens at the end of the game is the winner.

Extend the Activity

Sorting Cards

Use the image cards to practice sorting visual information like colors, shapes, and wild vs. domestic animals.

Challenging Words

Create word cards to challenge students with identifying the image with the corresponding word.

Creative Storytelling

Give your child the image cards from the I Spy game and have them create a story using the pictures. This could be a great game for speech therapy sessions.

I Spy Game

Use the I Spy pages to play the classic game I Spy. Start the game with “I Spy with my little eye…” and engage the children with verbal cues to find the matching picture.

Extend the I Spy Activity

Use the I Spy activity for kids with books about animals to locate the I Spy pictures.

Get I Spy Free Printables

In addition to our I Spy “Flip” Game series, we have 20+ I Spy Free Printables on Life Over C’.’s Get I Spy Worksheets, posters and games here.

Focus Skills

For I Spy “Flip” Board Game:

visual discrimination visual scanning working memory partner play Language Development cognitive sorting counting hand-eye coordination
Animal theme I Spy Flip board game

Animal I Spy “Flip” Board Game

10 Game Boards

40 Playing Cards

Non-stop FUN!

or Purchase on Teachers Pay Teachers

More I Spy “Flip” Games You’ll Love!

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Text says: I Spy Flip Animal theme board game image shows game board and I Spy image cards
author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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