4 Hide & Seek Games For Babies

 

hideandseek

Hide and Seek: why does such a simple game appeal so much? Why do babies love it so? T sure does!  I guess Peekaboo is the first Hide and Seek game a baby ever plays and T still adores playing it.  With this in mind, and, after posting my friend’s picture of her son with the Pringles Tube, I started thinking – there must be loads of other ways for T to explore the fabulous Hide and Seek concept, and here is what I came up with.  I hope you like them (we did!).

1.  BLANKET HIDE AND SEEK

This was A LOT of fun.  I covered T’s stacking cups because they are his favourite toy at the moment and he loved reaching for them and then trying to get them to nest inside each other.  Then, he discovered a squeaky toy I had hidden too, and started experimenting with it.  First, he tried fitting it into the cups, then he threw it and it squeaked as it landed.  This had him in stitches, so we just had fun throwing Sophie the Giraffe around and laughing.  Ah, what a lovely way to spend a morning.  This is definitely going in the memory bank.

What you will need:

  • a blanket, large scarf or pashmina.  I used a foil blanket in the picture above – £1 on ebay, recommended by another mum for fun tummy time.  I really recommend it actually because it has a lovely crinkly sound as it moves and is very light so is easy for baby to lift up
  • ONE of your baby’s toys.  I tried the game with more toys but it was a bit too distracting for him – I think it works best with one at a time, with a young baby.

How to play:

  1. Show your baby her toys and encourage her to start reaching for them/crawling towards them.
  2. Cover them with the blanket and ask “Where did they go?”.  .
  3. Model the next stage for them – start to pull the blanket back very slowly to reveal the objects.  Say “There it is!”. Do this a few times, making sure she can see a part of the toy poking out from under the blanket.  She will soon start trying to do it herself.  Don’t worry if she doesn’t straight away – she will still enjoy watching you cover and uncover the toys!
  4. Once she has found the toy, let her have a play with it, and play with her too.  Wait for a natural pause in the play and start again!

Variations: Hide only squeaky toys and encourage your baby to crawl over them – T did this by accident (see above) and it produced squeals of laughter – from both of us!

Best suited to: 5-12 month olds

2.  PARCEL HIDE AND SEEK

I got this idea because I was thinking about T opening his first birthday present the other day.  I thought I’d see if he could manage it, and this game was born!

What you will need:

  • a selection of toys of different shapes and sizes
  • wrapping paper/foil/brown paper bags

How to play:

  1. While your baby is napping, prepare the game.  Choose a few toys of different shapes and sizes and wrap them up in your chosen paper.
  2. Bring your baby into the room and invite them to unwrap the parcels.  You should demonstrate the first one (as well as talking it through) so they know what they need to do.
  3. As with the other games, if your baby is still young and not quite ready to start doing it themselves, just do it in front of them like a cover and reveal game – let them explore the toy for a bit once you have revealed it, then wrap it up again!

3.  PRINGLES HIDE AND SEEK

Alright, I stole this idea from a lovely mummy I know whose son enjoyed it – see link above for the original post on my Facebook page.  I hope she doesn’t mind :).  I had to put it up here because it’s just INGENIOUS and I know you’ll all love it!

What you will need:

  • Some small-ish objects: just use your child’s favourite objects or toys, whatever that happens to be.  I know it changes for T from week to week!
  • Two or three empty, washed pringles tubes

How to play:

  1. Hide an object in one of the tubes.  Ask “what’s in the tube?” and peer in with an interested look on your face.  Then demonstrate putting your hand in and pulling it out and announce “it’s a…!”
  2. Put the object back in and offer it to your baby.  She should either try to up-end the tube and “pour” the object out or reach in to get it.
  3. Let her play with the object for a bit, then put it back in and repeat!

T loved the problem-solving element of this game – he spent a while turning the tube this way and that, and shaking it, before he worked out how to get his little toy out.  Then he enjoyed dropping it back in and listening to the sound it made!

Variations:

  • if your baby is crawling, put the tube out of her reach to make it more of a challenge
  • for older babies, put the lid back on and have them remove that before putting their hand in
  • for toddlers, get them to hide their own toy inside for you to find, or play a guessing game – shake the tube and get your toddler to guess what’s inside from the sound it makes

Best suited to: 9-24 months

4.  BUCKET HIDE AND SEEK (LUCKY DIP)

What you will need:

  • bucket/box (I used a trug tub – for horse feed – bought at SCATS for £3.75 – I know I’ll get loads of use out of this and these are really baby-proof and safe).  You could also use a washing up bowl, laundry basket, baby bath or a normal bucket.
  • Muslins, handkerchiefs, scarves.

I spent a while cutting up strips of old fabric, then realised this was completely pointless – far easier to use muslins or something! You live and you learn…  As long as the fabric you use is reasonably small and light, your baby will have no problem getting it out.  But obviously bear in mind that the younger your baby is, the more support they will need to pull the fabric out.

  • toys or objects to hide inside

How to play:

1.  Show the baby the toy you are going to hide, put it into the bucket, then pile the muslins/fabric on top.

2.  Your baby will naturally be curious to look inside.  Encourage this – peer inside, asking: “where’s it gone?”, “can you see your…?”  “where is it?”.  If needed, lift some of the fabric off to partly reveal it – this will encourage your baby to finish the job!

T loved this game – he seemed to enjoy being able to almost crawl inside the bucket because it was so large!  He also loved pulling out all the strips of fabric, and was very pleased with himself to have recovered his beloved toy.

Variations: get baby to put the objects in (hide) herself and cover them up for you to find

Best suited to: 9-24 months

What is my baby learning?

I always like to include this section, just as a reminder that play involves SO much learning.  Every time you play a game with your baby you should feel happy and pleased that they are learning new skills in a fun, enjoyable way.

The games above all help your baby develop:

  • social skills (from interaction with you),
  • concentration skills (from focusing on a specific goal in the game)
  • confidence and pride in their ability and motivation to try new things (from achieving the goal you set them and being praised for it)
  • listening skills (listening for instructions),
  • fine motor skills (strengthening grasp and pincer grip from retrieving objects, wrapping toys and lifting up the blanket)

I’d like to add that the “best suited to” section is based on my very new knowledge of roughly what this age range is able to do and is interested in.  But – as we all know – all babies are different and develop at different rates so this is only meant as a guide.  You know your baby better than anyone else and  – if your baby is enjoying a game, who cares what age they are?

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that you and your baby have fun playing these games!

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3 thoughts on “4 Hide & Seek Games For Babies

  1. Lovely lovey ideas Marianne…you write in such an encouraging and clear way. So pleased to see T enjoying the Pringles tub too! 🙂

  2. Pingback: 11 Games To Entertain a Toddler AND a Baby |

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