Playing hide-and-seek

Playing hide-and-seek

Playing hide-and-seekPlaying hide-and-seek is one of the first games children play. It is a group game that involves the whole family and friends. Not only is it a fun activity, but it also serves to develop many aspects of the child and strengthen the bond with parents. You just need to know how to make the most of these moments.



When and why play hide and seek?

One of the first hiding games a baby can experience is peek-a-boo. The mother or father hides his face behind his hands, a cushion or simply a washcloth. He or she then emerges with a cheerful “peek-a-boo!” to the child. The first reactions are surprise and amazement. These then turn into laughter and merriment. It is also possible to reverse the roles by covering the baby’s face and uncovering it. As the child grows, he or she will start to pull your hands or the blanket away as if to say: I know you are hiding behind it. In this way, the baby has the opportunity to interact with his parents and have their full attention through this shared eye contact and laughter.

When the baby starts to walk, another hiding game can be introduced. This involves hiding objects and asking your child to look for them. This game helps with concentration and memory.

All these activities will also enable the child to assimilate certain important notions such as the “permanence of objects”. The child learns that although he or she can no longer see you or the object, it does not cease to exist or disappear forever. This concept will help him to separate from you to go to the nursery or stay with the nanny. He becomes more patient and reasonable.


Hide-and-seek becomes a bit more elaborate at this age as the child assimilates the rules much better. At first, the child prefers to hide only. Although it is fun to do this, such as hiding only his head or leaving a part of his body visible, let him do it. After a while, he will want to look for you. So he needs to learn to count and wait for you to hide.

When he has a few friends to play with, the game becomes even more fun and the child will get used to group play. He learns how to wait his turn, how to cooperate with his friends and how to lose.

The game will encourage them to explore their environment, to look for the best hiding places and thus to reason. The notion of volume is better assimilated as he recognises the places that could hide his whole body.

From the age of four, he also starts to develop his thinking skills by using strategies to deceive his friends: he leaves clues on one side but hides on the other, or he makes a sound somewhere and runs to hide elsewhere.

It should also be remembered that playing hide-and-seek is above all a physical game in which the child exercises his muscles. They learn to be more resilient and better appreciate the limits of their body.


Precautions to take

Vigilance is the key word for any physical activity for children. There are some precautions that should be followed to ensure safe play.

Choose a safe place to play: a few rooms in the house, an enclosed garden, a part of the park with a guard.
Do not allow children to climb very high or to leave the agreed area.
Do not allow children to hide in places that are considered dangerous.
Keep dangerous objects away.
Provide a sound signal or a phrase that ends the hide-and-seek game if a child stays hidden for too long.
Wear clothes suitable for physical activity.

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