Homemade I SPY

Ready to create an I SPY picture riddle? Here are some tips on how to create your own pictures and rhymes at home. You can look at picture riddles created by other kids in the Gallery for further inspiration.

Hints for Making an I SPY Picture

First gather together some fun materials to put in your picture. Use your imagination, most anything will do. Here are some suggestions of items to try. Make sure that you check with your parents before using these items.

construction paper
crayons, markers, or paints
newspaper, magazine, or catalog cutouts
scraps of material cut into shapes
pipe cleaners
leaves, sticks, or rocks
cotton balls or swabs
yarn, string, or thread
paper plates
loose beads or buttons
glitter or tinfoil
nails, screws, or pushpins
paper clips or rubber bands
people or animals you make out of clay
tongue depressors (craft sticks)

Think of objects that are easy to rhyme, such as "cat and hat" or "house and mouse," and try to include them in your picture. With the materials you gather, you can either draw a picture with objects in it, make a collage, or take a photograph. Note that your photograph will come out better if you place your picture riddle in good light, such as outside in the sunlight or near a window that has sunlight shining through.

If you want to use a setting for your picture, try a dollhouse, a windowsill, a city you've made out of blocks, a chalkboard, or a diorama you make in a shoebox. Or, you can simply scatter objects on a plain surface (or a not-so-plain surface!).

You can also use your favorite paint or creativity software product, or the "Make Your Own I SPY" from any of the I SPY CD-ROMs to create an electronic picture.

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Hints for Writing an I SPY Riddle Rhyme

Once you have created a picture, you need to write a rhyming riddle to go with it. Here is what a traditional I SPY riddle looks like (from I SPY Treasure Hunt):

Line 1: I spy a dime, two dolphins, a tub,
Line 2: Ten bowling pins, and a little golf club;
Line 3: Two fishing poles, a leaning mousetrap,
Line 4: A snowflake, a crab, two bats, and a map.

There should be four beats to a line, and every two lines should rhyme. You should be able to sing the riddle to an old-fashioned song called Sweet Betsy from Pike.

Here are some more hints to writing a successful riddle:

• Plan ahead by including objects that rhyme in your picture.

• Use a rhyming dictionary. This will help you pick the best rhyming objects for your picture.

• Follow the natural rhythm of the words. Try not to force the rhythm. If you need to, you can add a descriptive word to help with the rhythm: I spy a blue magnet, a monkey, a mouse . . .

• Read, revise, rewrite!

• When you think you are done, check your spelling and punctuation very carefully.

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Use the CD-ROMs to Create a Picture Riddle

All three I SPY CD-ROM products include a Make Your Own I SPY area. In this area, you can drag objects onto your "canvas" onscreen, and write a riddle to go with your picture (except in I Spy Junior).

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