This oldie but goodie childhood game was always one of my favorites! Along with all the variations of this classic play activity the standard hide and seek is still great fun. Send your kids out today for 30 minutes of hide and seek and it will open the door to more imaginative play and other outdoor discoveries. The rules are simple and so are the benefits. Running around using your creativity to hide with the added benefit of the excitement of not being seen is a must for kids. They love the benefit of the autonomy of being alone and knowing that you are independent enough to be by yourself for a short time. But then after a few minutes of being alone they love the thrill of being pursued and the joy of being found. Everyone loves the feeling of another person looking for and wanting them. There is a shared mission of exploring and discovering with the tension of looking and the excitement of coming together. All of this is pretend play for real life preparation when we learn that separations are OK and joy is felt in human relationships when reunions happen.
The relief of being found and the maturity to get over the fear of possibly not being found, are developmentally necessary for children. My older teens play with their younger siblings at times. They make it more fun with their advanced hiding techniques and more animated finding rituals enhanced with hugs and rough and tumble play! I love listening to the younger ones laughing and screaming as they are about to get caught by the big brother who is making monster noises!
This activity brings family connections, the thrill of hiding and being alone, the emotional joy and stability of being found, and practice for real life separations and reunions. I bet you didn’t know how powerful a simple game of hide and seek could really be. Send your kids outside to hide and play today and see if you can remember your best hiding spot when you were growing up; I bet you can!