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Talking Pictures Week 6: I Spy

Georgian leather-covered telescope belonging to the Cooper Penrose family. Crawford Art Gallery

Talking Pictures for Children 

Talking Pictures is an online resource for children and their adults based on artwork from the Crawford Art Gallery Collection. We will share creative prompts for happy talk and play every Wednesday. 

About the object

A telescope helps us to see things that are far away. Inside this telescope there are pieces of curved glass, these are like the lenses of glasses used for eyeglasses. The first telescope was invented over 400 years ago and was called ‘the looker’! Pirates and sea captains carried some of the earliest telescopes and these were called spy glasses. The family that owned this telescope lived in a big house on a hill, here in Cork, 300 years ago. They could spy all of the ships sailing up and down the river Lee.

Let’s Play 'I Spy'!

Can you spy…?:

Three things that are green

Something round

Something scratchy

Something that is very light

Something that is strong

Something that is yellow

Something that is smooth

Something that is square

Something that is fuzzy

Something precious

A shadow

Something tiny

Two things that are blue

Something old

Something that can float

Look out of your window: can you draw what you see?

Missing your friend? Ask an adult to help you send your drawing to your friend.

Ask your friend to draw what they see from their window so that you can see what they see, from faraway!

Imagine that you can live anywhere in the world. Look through a pretend telescope and draw what you spy!

Here are some ideas: mountains, snow, sky scrapers, a boat, flowers, a desert, hot air balloons, the beach, a huge city, Disneyland, a forest, a zoo, a castle, a tropical island, a sweet factory, a new friend, a bouncy castle, a swimming pool, pirates, a tornado, a tree house….

Make your own pretend telescope complete with a funny friend to join in your spying!
Above: Make your own pretend telescope complete with a funny friend to join in your spying!

Make a pretend telescope! 

  1. Use the cardboard tube from a toilet roll and a piece of clear plastic from the recycling bin.
  2. Use a marker and the cardboard tube to trace a circle onto the plastic.
  3. Draw a tiny friend, a little animal or a ship onto the circle of plastic with a permanent marker.
  4. Use a small piece of sellotape to attach the plastic circle to the end of the cardboard roll.
  5. Decorate your telescope and have lots of silly fun!


Emmett Place, Cork, Ireland
T12 TNE6
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