Does the way kids play hide and seek make you chuckle? The sun has been playing hide and seek with us this week. Here for a few minutes and gone again. Following its example, we played hide and seek too.
What looks like a fun, playful game on the outside, is a challenging exploration from within. Being able to separate from parents, caregivers, and other familiar people is a big step for kids. Independence is a skill that kids develop with practice and experience and this game is one of the ways that kids check it out. Like so many other things, it starts with baby steps.
We could describe hide and seek as a game about relationships. At first, kids like to be able to have their parents close by. In order to handle separation without fear, kids need to trust that parents or caregivers will come back. Hide and seek takes it one step farther. Kids trust that we will search them out and find them.
When first playing Hide and Seek, kids have the basics, sort of. They know they need to be unseen and find or create a place where they are hidden. Often, they hide part of themselves and think that’s enough. Little Sister hid her eyes and announced, “You can’t see me.” She had part of the idea, but didn’t realize that because she couldn’t see me, didn’t mean I couldn’t see her. Kids may call out to us from where they are hiding or even tell us their location. It’s all part of the learning process.
Kids will check this out over and over, almost anywhere and anytime. They may start the game themselves, quite confident that we will play along. The best part of the game is being found and reunited. No wonder kids play hide and seek so often. Could hide and seek be a play-of-the-day for your child?