How To Play Where's Waldo, 'Cause It's Fun And (Bonus!) Will Keep The Kids Busy

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Where's Waldo Online
NBCUniversal Television Distribution

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For more than two decades now, kids have been on a near-constant hunt to find Waldo. Dressed like a barbershop pole and decked out in hipster glasses and a beanie, you’d think he’d be easy to spot. Alas, the artists who illustrate the Where’s Waldo books have a very particular set of skills that lend well to hiding this goofy-looking guy. On the beach, among ancient Romans, and chilling at a funny circus, there’s nowhere Waldo hasn’t traveled… and that young eyes haven’t scanned.

But we’re living in the 21st century now, Mama, and you know what that means. The first place our kids are going to search for Where’s Waldo — or Where’s Wally, as it’s known in the UK — is on a screen. Fear not, though! That’s totally a thing now. We’re in the midst of a large movement where fun things from our childhood (like coloring books or MadLibs) are being placed online. So, it turns out that Waldo is also all over the internet and ready to be found all over again in places new and old. If you’re ready to share a slice of nostalgia with your kiddos, look no further. We’ve got you covered right here.

How to Play the Old School Way

If you truly want to give your kids the classic Where’s Waldo experience, you’ll want to buy the Where’s Waldo books. Not surprisingly, you can build your own little Waldo library through Amazon. However, the eye-boggling books can also be purchased through Penguin Random House, Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers.

How to Play Where’s Waldo Online

1. Sporcle

Looking for a clickable version? Sporcle has a ton of clickable games, including a Where’s Waldo hunt. Making this extra hard? They’ve included the countdown clock! Take note, though: Your “click” must be very precise. If you don’t land exactly on Waldo’s schnoz, it doesn’t recognize it as a right answer.

2. Play Waldo

Of course, there’s actually an official Where’s Waldo site as well. It comes with the added feature of being able to challenge someone else on another device. Who can find Wally first?

3. Old Game Shelf

Another cool option for playing Where’s Waldo is to sit down with the NES video game. What’s that? You didn’t keep all your old gaming consoles? Yeah, we didn’t either. Luckily, the folks at Old Game Shelf have worked to put a ton of old games on the internet (including the Where’s Waldo video game). Double the nostalgia? Yes, please!

4. Arcade Spot

Just like Old Game Shelf, Arcade Spot offers up a cool selection of old video games. They, too, have the Where’s Waldo game ready to play online. We all know that sometimes one website works better than another — it often depends on that site’s server, but it can also boil down to the device you’re playing on and your internet provider. If one option doesn’t work, the other just might.

5. Black And White Where’s Waldo

Are your (freaking genius) kids blowing through these Where’s Waldo challenges too quickly? Several years ago, a Where’s Waldo coloring book was created. That’s right: Everything is black and white. Since then, the coloring pages have made their way online as well. Print them out so your kids can hunt for Waldo and color in the page at the same time. Or do it yourself, if you’re a glutton for punishment.

6. Hidden Folks App

Once you’ve made it through all of the online Where’s Waldo content you can find, there’s still another very similar option. Released just a year-ish ago, the app Hidden Folks has been deemed the next Where’s Waldo, the digital Where’s Waldo, and the Where’s Waldo for adults. It’s fantastically hard… and fiercely fun. After all, let’s be real: After a long day of parenting (read: squashing sibling spats, answering a million questions, and so much more), you may just need to numb your brain by searching for our ol’ pal Wally.

Is there a Where’s Waldo Show?

If your kids need something a little more animated to hold their interest, we’ve got that covered, too. Thanks to Peacock Jr., you can stream the new Where’s Waldo cartoon. Here, kids can get even more of their elusive striped friend. Peacock Jr. has created the WorldWide Wanderer Society, where Waldo and his friend Wenda embark on magical travel missions given to them by their mentor, Wizard Whitebeard. Their archnemesis, Odlulu, makes trouble for them along the way and tries to hurt their chances of earning stripes. With enough missions and experience, Waldo and Wenda can become wizard-level wanderers. In the show, Waldo and Wenda travel all over the world and visit places like Egypt, Antarctica, Russia, and Switzerland. It’s a great show that teaches kids about different cultures. Where’s Waldo does an amazing job in planting the seeds of wanderlust in children.

Tips for Finding Waldo/Wally

It turns out Waldo is pretty predictable. If your kiddo is having trouble finding him, or if you just want to look like a proper Where’s Waldo wiz, we have some insight. One of the first places you should look for Waldo is on the bottom half of the left page of any spread. After that, try the uppermost quadrant of the right page. Finding Waldo is a serious task for many fun-seekers. Some people have even created computer algorithms and mapping sequences just to find our striped friend. But you don’t have to be this extra. Sure, you can start your journey by looking at the bottom left of the page, but there are other tips you can use to get the job done.

  1. First, don’t follow color. One reason Waldo is so hard to find is that most of the time he’s wedged between dull and muted colors, so he’s easy to miss. Look in the areas where you see no sign of his colors. He might be hiding near a sandcastle or black umbrella, so you might overlook him. Just be sure to scan these spots more closely.

Good luck!

Who is Martin Handford?

Martin Handford is the man behind the wandering Waldo we know today. In 1986, art director Walker Books tasked him to create and design a character who would stick out. That was the year “Wally” was born. He was a world traveler bitten by the wanderlust bug who dressed in red and white. Handford’s earliest artistic influences came from cinema and toy soldiers. The London native is responsible for the cover design for The Vapors‘ 1981 album Magnets. But why do we call Waldo, Waldo? Well, when “Wally” was introduced to the North American audience, his name was changed to Waldo because it advertised better.

Where’s Waldo Jokes

The Where’s Waldo world is entertaining because it gives people a fun finding challenge. In addition to enjoying Waldo on the page, check out these jokes below about the speckled traveler.

Why does Waldo wear stripes?

Because he doesn’t want to be spotted.

Why doesn’t Waldo go to the gym?

Because no one can spot him.

What does a serial killer do when he finds Waldo?

Wears Waldo.

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