Hide and Seek: Why Kids Should Play

Hide and Seek: Why Kids Should Play

Playing hide and seek will provide cognitive benefits to children according to the Child Development Institute  / Photo by Sergey Novikov via Shutterstock


Hide and Seek is a children’s game where one or more players try to hide while one person looks for them, just as the name of the game suggests. It is a very basic game but players can opt for variations. Regardless of the game version you choose, players will only need friends and some searching and hiding skills. But did you know that aside from the thrill and fun of the game, there are many benefits that can be derived from hide and seek that makes it good for children?


Teaches the concept of object permanence

According to the Child Development Institute, playing hide and seek will provide cognitive benefits to children. It will teach them the concept behind object permanence or the understanding that objects and things will continue to exist even if they cannot be sensed, smelled, touch, heard, or seen. Why is this concept important, you may ask? The answer is that it is a developmental milestone for your child, as it helps them understand their environment and know what to expect out of it. This means that they can grow up not frightened if they give up something, like their toy, in the belief that they can still have it back. 

Another major thing the child will learn in the concept of object permanence is that people continue to exist even when they are already out of sight. The child will learn that even if they are not happy to see the parents leave to go to work, they can still think that they will return. Over time, this will mean less distress. 


Develops their problem-solving skills

As kids play hide and seek, they are also developing their skills in solving the problem because they will try their best to hide in different areas or find who their targets are. They will grow to be creative in the game. Problem-solving is likewise a critical skill necessary for them to resolve conflicts with other people and will, later on, help build their self-composure, self-confidence, and self-esteem. The skill will help them solve their own challenges, no matter how big or small they may seem.


Educates them about volume (science)

Hide and seek educates children about volume. It refers to the amount of space that a thing or object takes up. In the game of hide and seek, kids will try to find even the smallest area for their playmates to hide and they would try their best to also fit into it. 

Enhances their social skills

Social skills are necessary for kids to interact with other people. If they grow up to have good social skills, this also means that they can become happy and confident people who are not difficult to be with. In the game of hide and seek, kids will learn social skills, including cooperation, being a friend and making friends, participation, being patient, sharing, helping others, following directions, listening, positive interactions and communications, respecting others, resolving conflicts, and praising other people when they have done well.

Self-control is an important skill that kids must learn because it will help them respond appropriately to stressful situations / Photo by AlohaHawaii via Shutterstock


Improves their agility and balance

Some of the important physical benefits that kids can gain in playing hide and seek are that it improves their agility, coordination, and balance, as they try their best to find the ideal place to hide and win in the game. Just remind your child though that the game, like any other physical activity, may involve risk. So, there should be ground rules to follow. For example, they are not allowed to climb above a particular height that could be dangerous for them.


Strengthens their brain

Children’s mental capacity is also strengthened in the game of hide and seek. For example, they need to remember the rules and instructions and recognize when it would be their time to hide or to find other players. They get involved with task initiation, organization, prioritizing, planning, flexible thinking, and perspective taking.


Teaches them self-control

Self-control is an important skill that kids must learn because it will help them respond appropriately to stressful situations and help them choose the right decisions. In the game of hide and seek, children are taught impulse control and emotion control. Impulse control in the sense that they have to think before they act and emotion control because they need to control their strong feelings that may arise while playing.


Boost their happiness

Playing the game breaks up their routine and recharges their battery as individuals. There is also such pleasure in doing something out of pure joy, putting a smile on their faces. When they are “found” in the game, it brings serotonin to their brain, and such hormone increases happiness and regulates moods.


Fosters independence

This classic kid game fosters independence in children too. After all, they get to choose on their own where they want to hide and where they can search that may appear obvious. These are small steps of independence but can be hugely empowering for the child, according to parent and teacher resource Child’s Play in Action.