Peek-a-boo is a classic game that is a favourite among many generations. Many parents and adults will have played this classic game with babies and toddlers. It is a simple act of being hidden and then ‘found’, although it is not only a fun game to young children but also helps with their development. Peek-a-boo also gives the foundations for games as the children grow such as Hide and Seek.
Peek-a-boo is a game that can be played anywhere and anytime once your baby or toddler has an understanding of the game.
Ways to introduce this to your baby or toddler is by:
- Finding a piece of fabric that is slightly see-through, such as lace or muslin.
- A time when your baby or toddler is content (not tired).
- Put them on your lap or facing you, before gently draping the fabric over your face, wait a few moments and then pull the fabric back. Smile and quietly say “Peek-a-boo!”
- Repeat this a few times throughout a period of time, while observing how your baby or toddler responds.
- Once your baby or toddler has worked out what is happening, play the game again, but this time covering your baby or toddlers face slowly and gently.
- Watch to see if your baby or toddler pulls the fabric back and, if necessary, help them, remembering to smile and say “Peek-a-boo!”
Peek-a-boo is a game that provides opportunities for supporting many aspects of a baby or toddler’s early development. This makes it worth playing at odd times every day. Playing peek-a-boo empowers babies and toddlers to ‘find’ an object or person. This helped with their emotional development because being found can make them feel wanted and special. Peek-a-boo teaches babies and toddlers about playing with another person, which involved co-operation and a little patience. This will help a babies and toddler’s social development. It enables babies and toddlers to see that objects that are out of sight still exist via a first-hand experience. This concept is object permanence, and most babies start to develop it somewhere between around six and eight months; this links to babies’ cognitive development. Peek-a-boo encourages babies and toddler’s physical development because it requires them to reach out and grasp the fabric, which will increase hand-eye co-ordination. This classic game can also help babies and toddler’s communication development, as they learn to make eye contact and read others’ responses or expressions. Along with their communication it can also encourage their attention skills to develop.
Here at Tiny Toes Day Nursery, we understand the importance of this classic game. We encourage our children and staff to participate with simple games, such as peek-a-boo within our baby and toddler rooms. We encourage the development of such games in pre-school for our children to begin playing Hide and Seek. Tiny Toes Day Nursery encourages our children to look at ‘pop-up’ toys and books; encouraging them to say “peek-a-boo” when something pops up. Our team at Tiny Toes observes different aspects of the classic game when playing with a baby or toddler; we look out for their anticipation, attention, initiation and communication.
Our team at Tiny Toes also encourages parents and carers to play peek-a-boo with their child. It is important for the parents or carers to be made aware of the support it gives their child’s development. They also need to be made aware that it can be played during every day routines such as bath time, where they could use the child’s towel, or when dressing the child, pulling a top over the child’s head and saying peek-a-boo.