Hide and Seek: a game that can help your child develop language, reasoning and spatial awareness!How?
you may ask, well there is a feature of ‘perception’ known as size constancy and although present at birth it’s development is dependent upon learning and familiarization. As adults we are aware if something exists even when we can no longer see it, and our awareness of the surroundings that we are in (spatial awareness) encourage us to explore. This knowledge of ‘permanent existence’ even when out of view (your hiding behind a tree!) and development of identity is the foundation for mental activities such as planning and prediction.
Try to think about Hide and Seek being an extension of ‘peek a boo’ when your child was a baby and we can see how social relationships develop from imitation and repetitive learning. As your child’s ability to form memories of the object or person develops they are able to recognise ‘it’s’ position in respect to their self (egocentric) or another object or person (allocentric). At about 9 months of age the memory for a ‘new’ hiding place is short approximately 5 seconds, before it is replaced by an older more established memory. This time delay increases with age and encourages the developmental areas of thinking and reason, i.e. using memories of the past to influence or guide actions in the present.
At about the age of 2 years thought (memory) and language merge also guiding the child’s actions and thinking, now the language that accompanied the social interaction is internalised providing meaning.
So, in Hide and Seek words like ‘closer’, ‘nearer’
away are descriptions of how far away the object or person they are seeking is, similarly ‘hotter’
when close, and ‘colder’
when further away teaches the concept of distance.So where did it start?
In 200 AD the Greek writer Julius Pollux described possibly the earliest known example of a game called ‘apodidraskinda’ or as we know it Hide and Seek. Also a painting was found in Herculaneum at about the same time recording a pictorial image of ‘Hide and Seek’.Future benefits
In 2013 new research reported by Rose Eveleth from the Smithsonian Institute indicated the positive outcome of ‘empathic’ knowledge (experienced by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes) by switching perspectives (position). It was noted that adults who had switched perspectives (positions) were much more likely to problem solve inconsistencies that those that did not.
Switching perspectives makes us more perceptive!