Hopped Up Hide and Seek

What You Need:

  • A small object, anything from a coin to a toy car

What You Do:

  1. Begin by having your child close their eyes until you've placed the item in a well-hidden location.
  2. Give simple but very specific directions to guide your child in finding the object. A typical game might include: "Walk three steps forward." "Turn toward the window." "Walk five steps forward." "Walk two more steps forward." "Look up on the second shelf." "Look behind the plant." Or throw in some colors, for example, "Look next to something that is red." At first, allow them to finish each step before moving on to the next direction.
  3. But once they've gotten the hang of it, challenge their memory and their listening skills, by giving multiple-step instructions: "Walk three steps forward and then turn toward the window."
  4. Don't be a "Hide and Seek" hog! After playing the game a number of times, allow your child to hide the object for you to find. In the beginning, it may be difficult for them to give specific instructions, but as long as you don't gloss over their mistakes, they'll improve quickly. Be sure to follow their instructions exactly, so that they can learn from any errors that are made. For example, if your child tells you to look beside a cup but really means for you to look behind it, they will quickly understand when they see your actions that they used the incorrect word. Give suggestions as needed.

The great thing about this game is that it's portable! It can be played just about anywhere, from the park, to your own living room, to a doctor's waiting room. The skills of giving and following directions are an important part of every young child's life. When presented in a game format, they can be fun too!

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