I am hiding, hiding, hiding. I am hiding, hiding, hiding. I am hiding, hiding, hiding. Peek-A-Boo.”
Tune: Paw Paw Patch
From early on children are entranced with hiding and finding objects or people. We know that young infants, working on object permanency, are amazed to see you are still there when you take your hands away.
As children develop we can continue to use this “thrill” with a variety of skills. Here are some options.
What’s missing? Show your child two items (more for older children) and ask him to close his eyes or you can cover the items with a cloth and remove one item. See if your child can tell you which one is missing. Take a turn as the person making the guess too. This game helps develop language and perceptual memory. As the leader of the game your child will build confidence.
What’s inside? Hide an item inside a shoe box that has a hole cut out the end (or make a box from Duplos, Legos, etc.) Have your child feel the item inside and try to guess what is in the box. For younger children you could have a few pictures of items to choose from or give them clues. For older children have them ask inquiring questions to help determine what it is. You could also hide a letter inside (those magnet letters would work well) to see if you child can tell which one it is. Say words that start with that letter as clues. This game is wonderful for building the sense of touch, visual imagery, vocabulary and other language skills.
Can you match this? Using items that are similar in size (our Blue class uses small stones, sticks and shells) lay your items in a pattern. Our Blue classes lay the pattern on a simple grid of nine squares on a paper. You can just lay the items in a row if you would like. Have your child look at your pattern and then cover the pattern with a cloth or paper. The game is for your child, using her own set of similar items, to recreate the pattern from memory. This game encourages so many upper level thinking strategies. Again, your child will love a chance to make a pattern for you.
Shine a light on it. This is a fun variation of hiding Easter eggs. Simply hide items around the house or yard and have your child find them using a flashlight. This is a great way to build interest in shapes, colors, letters, and even math facts for elementary age children.
Hide and Seek. There is a reason this game has been played for centuries. Take time to enjoy the game of hiding and finding your child. It is fun! Your child also has a chance to develop patience and delayed gratification as he can hide for longer and longer times. He grows in his ability to think about future actions as he chooses harder and harder hiding places. Those are just three areas your child develops as he plays.
Have some fun hiding and seeking!