Other Than Your Kids, Keys, or Wallet
- What: 1001 Things to Spot books
- When: 3 years and up
- Why: Encourage reading, build confidence, kill time
- Where: Usborne and Amazon
When I say 1001 Things to Spot, I don’t mean all the things you need to find and purchase in order to feel ready for your baby. You’ve read my odes to Usborne books. But I’ve been recently reminded by my two and half year old about the popularity of these look and find books. Each of these books from Usborne features 1001 things to spot over about 30 pages. Every two page spread has about ten to twelve items pictured along the border, with a corresponding number next to it. Then you look at the scene and find all the images that match. Some can be trickier than others, but all can be found with some patience and persistence and the occasion adult assistance.
While these books do not make the best bedtime reading (because your kids can control how long they look for each item), they work well for traveling and mid-afternoon reads or snuggling in bed on a sick day after other entertainments have lost their appeal. I can easily kill an hour if we search for all 1,001 things. For shorter periods of time, I either let the kids search for one thing on each spread or have them pick three pages and search for three things on each of those. It’s always fun to see which pages they like best on any given day.
In case you need more things for your little hunter to locate, the back pages have another selection of things to find throughout the entire book. Usborne features tons of themes for a variety of interests with these books, including animals, bugs, fairies, farm, pirates, sea, vacation, and wizards.
You can certainly seek and find other brands as well, in case your kids have a fascination with a particular character.
No literacy skills are required for look and find books, as kids can match the image shown with the hidden objects.
If you want a more challenging version for yourself or your kids, try the Can You See What I See? series. While we don’t own any of these, we have checked them out of the library periodically over the course of the last five years. They offer only a word list of things to look for, making it much harder to spot some of the items for those of us who need a visual image to match. This series includes themes like trucks and cars, dinosaurs, space, and once upon a time.