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Hide-and-Seek

Children love to play Hide-and-seek from their earliest days, but it’s not just a silly game.

Playing peekaboo with your baby leads to searching for hidden objects and, ultimately, to the excitement of playing hide-and-seek.

There are some clear cognitive benefits to playing hiding games. Peekaboo makes them giggle but also teaches them the concept of object permanence; that things can still exist even though they might not be able to see them.

Play encourages children to consider options and make choices. They create, invent, discover and learn about their world while experiencing joy, an understanding of themselves and others.

Playing hide-and-seek enhances social development, shaping the way our children think. It teaches turn taking, the enjoyment of sharing play with others, working as part of a team and dealing with conflict. There is a shared mission to alternate exploring and being discovered, offering ways to interpret the world by focusing on rules and social interactions. A certain sense of solidarity and trust is formed when you hide with a friend.

Children gain reassurance from positive responses and as they go to hide, are searched for and found – it brings emotional satisfaction. Children hide because they want to explore their environment. They want to know that they will be fine on their own, providing a sense of autonomy. The joy of exploring, feeling lonely and the reassurance that their friends want to find them is life affirming. The joy of being found is that of being loved. This type of cooperative play places the emphasis on peers, allowing leadership roles to emerge.

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