We don’t play ‘real’ Hide & Seek in my house – you know, the kind where the children hide and whoever is ‘it’ has to find them etc. Mostly this is because I consider it to be an outdoor game like tag and in order to play it in my house I’d have a rule list that would be too extensive to remember. Also, the children don’t think there are any ‘good’ hiding spots – I know of some but I won’t tell them where they are.
However, we do have a popular version of Hide & Seek that we play often. It originated around Easter many years ago when I added little plastic Easter eggs to one of the loose parts bins and the children used them for Easter egg hunts. They devised their own rules and the cooperation and imagination they demonstrated was amazing.
They were somewhat disappointed when the eggs went back into storage and something else was brought out. They were not dissuaded though. They found other small items to use and modified the game accordingly. Since then not a week goes by without someone suggesting a game of “Hide the …(insert name of chosen items here)” and everyone participates.
Sometimes they play a shell type game where one child hides a smaller item – like a block – under one of several inverted bowls or cups and then the other children try to find it.
Each Spring I bring out the eggs again – not too early or for too long or the excitement of egg hunting might wear off. This year I brought them out at the beginning of April and I did something a little different. Instead of just putting the eggs loose in a bin, I put them in Styrofoam egg cartons – I currently have no infants enrolled so I didn’t need to be concerned about the cartons getting chewed on.
I’m not sure if it was the addition of the egg cartons or the developmental changes that the children have experienced in the past year but the plastic egg play is very different.
Interestingly, some of the children still like to hide the eggs but no one will look for them. Seriously, I’m getting tired of trying to located missing eggs! There should be 36 of them. We know because the children like to sort and arrange them by color in the cartons and if there is one missing it wrecks the pattern.
They also like to cook with the eggs,
And have picnics, or use them as cargo for their crane.
Basically any activity other than hunting for them! I don’t get it, but as long as they are having fun that’s OK.