Andrew: Unlike our usual entries, this will be a shorter one as I just wanted to share this really fun game we used to and still play with Dylan. (Jasmine: “Shorter”.. Ahem.. Wait till you see how long it became.)
Hide & Seek used to be one of my favourite games as a kid! I never knew that you could play it with a baby as well and we kind of stumbled upon this game unknowingly.
So here’s how we play it with our dear Dilly and there are 3 versions, all of which result in tonnes of fun for both baby and parents! Dilly inevitably ends up giggling uncontrollably in all variations, though Variation 1 seems to work the best.
Obviously this would be hard to photograph, so this post requires more imagination! Hope our descriptions are clear enough 🙂
Variation 1: Adult hides together with baby, while another person tries to ‘seek’.
Andrew: For this variation, one of us will carry baby and hide behind a curtain which has to be rather sheer, so that the baby can see that others are trying to find him.
Jasmine: We’ve found that this works best with our sheer rather than opaque curtains, as Dylan can make out the our silhouettes but not see fully. This increases the tension. He can also choose to peek out from the curtain for total visibility.
Andrew: After that, the adults will then ‘pretend’ to ‘seek’ baby throughout the room by:
Opening cupboard doors violently
Lifting up pillows/bolsters
Searching under beds/ and surfaces
It’s important throughout to also keep voicing that you are trying to find him by saying, ‘Where’s baby? Is he….. IN the cupboard? (opens cupboard door) Is he…… UNDER the PILLOW? (throws up pillow)’.
Jasmine: In articulating the places that we are looking for him in, we, English teachers by training, also seize the chance to educate him about prepositions e.g. “in”, “under”. The repetitive sentence structure also clues Dylan in on what to expect.
Andrew: To our greatest surprise, Dilly actually starts peering out from behind the curtain and then squeals in delight whenever we shout ‘HERE’ or we look under a pillow.
Then as you start reaching nearer, you can even look VERY closely at baby through the curtain and say, ‘Is he behind here??’ and finally fling the curtain away and say ‘I found you, I found you!’.
It’s a LOT of fun and he ends up squealing so uncontrollably sometimes that we can’t hold him in.
Jasmine: Dilly was able to do this from about six or seven months of age– anticipating that we were searching for him and squealing in response from the suspense– prompting my mother (obviously a biased source) to say that he was a very smart baby. Heh.
Variation 2: Parent hides and baby ‘seeks’.
Andrew: Now that baby loves running around on his walker, this is a new variation I’ve created.
What this involves is simply calling out to baby when he is on his walker, and say, ‘Oh, where’s Daddy? Where’s Daddy?’, then run away to a hidden corner or behind the curtain. Most important thing to ensure is that he must be able to see where you have disappeared to, so that he can ‘seek’. If he doesn’t know, he’ll just start going around aimlessly.
Then when he turns up next to you, you just shout ‘You Found me!’ and that inevitably brings squeals from baby. It’s additional fun when I’m behind the sheer curtain, because he can actually see my feet and he will creep nearer and nearer – as he comes nearer, I will just keep saying ‘Where’s Daddy?’, and he starts giggling, until I eventually throw off the curtain as he comes near and that brings out a loud scream from him.
Jasmine: Yup, sometimes Dilly squeals so shrilly and excitedly in the living room that I can hear him from the bedroom.
Variation 3: Baby scuttles into hiding place on his own, adult pretends to ‘seek’.
Andrew: Okay, so this is a variation with pictures we can take! Dearie got this idea from Blue House to add a little curtain below our bookshelves, which could serve as a hiding place for Dylan.
The reading and music nook at Blue House- similarity in the fabric we chose purely coincidental, as we needed to match our celadon blue walls
Jasmine: Yes, it was a really easy project! We got someone to hem the fabric (which was on sale at Spotlight) and attached it under the bookshelves with Velcro! My actual plan was to make use of the dead space under the shelves by adding some plastic boxes for storage and hiding them with the curtains, but of course it would turn out to be a great hiding place for Dylan. My only regret was not adding a “window” that he could peek out from.
Andrew: Actually, even before the curtain was there, he always enjoyed crawling under our bookshelf to the corner, and then just hide there for a while. We could just go around there and ‘pretend’ to seek him again, by saying ‘Where’s Dilly?’ – same as Variation 1.
However, recently, he’s gotten a little smarter and he would just suddenly crawl behind the curtain and start laughing – as if inviting us to come play with him!
Jasmine: Sometimes, he will stay there quietly and it takes a minute for us to notice he is even gone. But his little feet give him away, and saying, “Where’s Dilly?” very loudly, we will approach the curtain, start touching his feet, reaching under to tickle him… And he gets such a thrill!
If I can’t see them, they can’t see me…
Andrew: We can’t see his reaction but we can hear his squeals and his movements are evident from the movement of the curtain. Heh. When we fling open the curtain, he would excitedly try to pull himself out:
Oh, and as a bonus, there’s even a video of this!
Jasmine: This little fella just makes my day!