Activity: Book Detective- Hunting for letters and words

Book Detective: Hunting for letters and words by My Little BookcaseUsing a magnifying glass turns this simple letter recognition activity into a fun game for children.

You will need:

  • A magnifying glass
  • A selection of books

How to play:

There are many ways you can play the letter hunt game, depending on a child’s age or ability.

Searching for letters with a magnifying glass_ My Little Bookcase

a) By using a magnifying glass, ask your child to search through the words in the book to find:

  • Particular letters of the alphabet: These could be chosen by you or your child. You could focus on letters your child already recognises or  letters they are just  beginning to recognise

Searching for letter with magnifying glass

  • Sounds: Children can look for the letters or letter combinations (digraphs, trigraphs) that make a particular sound (For example, kite, cat, duck, Christmas)
  • Particular words of choice: For example, you could ask your child to find words of interest, new vocabulary, sight words or words that appear on their spelling lists

Searching for letters with magnifying glass_My Little Bookcase

  • Small words within larger words

Searching for words within words_My Little Bookcase

b) Or you could simple leave an invitation for your child to explore the book in their own way.

Invitation to explore books

Who knows what they will explore- letters, words, illustrations or endpapers???????????????

Choosing books

You don’t have to put a lot of effort into choosing which books to use. But if you want to be selective look for:

  • Books that feature alliteration: This will give your child many opportunities to see and begin to recognise letters.
  • Books that feature high frequency words

About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase

Activity: Book Detective- Hunting for letters and words


  1. Cat said: On June 12, 2013

    What a fab idea! We will definitely give this a go. X

  2. Such an awesome idea! And another book on our wish list! :-)

  3. Oh my! Isn’t everything better with a magnifying glass? I love this idea!

  4. Kelly said: On June 17, 2013

    What a great way to explore reading, I know Dino Boy would love this approach to reading! He loves magnifying glasses :-)

  5. What a great way encourage reading. I’m d going to give this a try as I think Miss 4 would really enjoy it.

  6. Love :) then they can move onto where’s wally ;)

  7. Oh my gosh, why haven’t I thought of this before.
    Thnx for the inspiration, this is a great idea

  8. Debs said: On June 18, 2013

    The preps used to love hunting their sight words as detectives. Magnifying glasses are fun! I love all the suggestions you’ve made to make it easy for parents to implement according to their child’s abilities.

  9. Haha Where’s Wally is a great idea :) Jack would really love this. And I see you have some of the shortlisted books…. what did you think of The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog?

  10. What a genius idea Jackie! My girls are loving their magnifying glasses at the moment and also pointing out letters of their name everywhere we go so we are going to start doing this…they will love it! Thanks so much for the inspiration clever lady!

  11. Great idea, especially for eager spies-in-training :-) Thank you for linking up to Mom’s Library, I’ll be featuring you in about 10 hours at hunt your way over to grab your featured badge and be sure to link up more great ideas!

  12. I love children using magnifying glasses. They are great fun and a wonderful way to focus a child’s attention. Thanks for this great post idea Jackie.

  13. I love this Jackie. And I really want that book to come to the US! (Along with dozens of other awesome Aussie books I see on your blog.)

  14. I love this activity and forgot to tell you that I highlighted it in my Kid’s Co-Op post last week!

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