Parenthood eventually reaches that time when you have to switch from cuddles on the sofa with a nice snack and some morning TV to actively running around entertaining your toddler. And what better game to teach your child than hide and seek? It teaches them creativity, patience, the importance of being quiet and body awareness.
Hide and Seek is a very old game, played by kids throughout history as a fun and free form of entertainment. It is even described by Julius Pollux in the 2nd century as a game called ‘apodidraskinda’. In Spain it is ‘el escondite’ whilst in South Korea, it is ‘sumbaggoggil’ and France knows it as ‘jeu de cache-cache’. In some versions one player hides whilst others find him and then hide with him - ‘sardines’ - whilst another way of playing it is to have hiders trying to get back to an original home spot before the seeker sees them.
But not all kids are really successful in this game. Some don’t like to be alone, so will hide in plain sight, whilst others just don’t have that body awareness yet to realise that parts of them are stuck out. Some kids use the same hiding places every time, making it super easy to locate them. At this point, it’s normal to start the ‘I just can’t find him, where could he be???’ routine.
Have a look at these 20 photos of kids that just haven’t got the hang of hide and seek yet.
20 Definitely Won't Find Me Here...
This picture shows a series of successes. Firstly, he has managed to find a box that was just his perfect size. Then he has somehow managed to curl up into what looks like a fairly comfortable position and has even managed to put the box over himself. Or find a willing accomplice that didn’t think to point out the slight flaws in his plan. He has even adopted the ‘I can’t see you so you won’t know I’m here’ position.
Sadly this kid doesn’t understand the concept of transparency. If only it had been a solid colored box he might have stood a chance.
19 You Can't See Me
This kid has made a great effort and his hide and seek training days are surely almost over. He has found himself a little nook to hide in and has thought to cover himself up. The blanket is even a similar color to the toys around him. If he stays very still he might just win. But wait...hang on a minute...that blanket has feet… and that cot has grown a hand? Yes, these tell-tale signs are unfortunately going to catch him out. It’s going to be a giveaway to the seeker that he is, in fact, just standing half covered under a blanket.
18 Crocodile With Hands
This kid has achieved some unusual success here. Unusually, they have managed to find a hiding cover that is longer than their body. So full marks and a round of applause for covering up the head, the body, the legs and even the feet. They have also cleverly used socks as a distraction technique - no one will want to give those a second glance.
However, there are a couple of serious problems with this hiding spot. Firstly, does that crocodile normally have hands protruding from his neck? Secondly, does that soft toy normally have the ability to stand vertically against a wall? These tell-tale signs might just signal the end for this cunning hider.
17 Let Down By A Mirror
On reflection, this was not the best spot to choose. Playing hide and seek at home when you are an older child can be difficult. Not only are all the best spots well known by this age, but you are physically bigger and can no longer squeeze into the tiny spots that you could use when you were a toddler. It’s unlikely that you can fit into a handy box or laundry basket and you make a big lump under the duvet. So kudos to this girl for hunkering down by the end of the sofa. Too bad she didn’t notice the big mirror giving her position away.
16 Hiding + Snack
If you are really good at this game it’s likely that you might not be found for some time. And with all that waiting around you might just get hungry. So in order to avoid any sudden snack emergencies, the kitchen is an excellent place to hide away. No hider wants a rumbling tummy to give away their hiding spot, after all. This kid has almost perfected the kitchen hiding technique. They have found a suitable cupboard, got themselves in and settled down. They have even picked the shadowy side of the room. But wait….what’s that peaking out from under the door?
15 Always Consider The Sun
This kid’s attempt has actually created a rather beautiful photograph. He has done so many things right. He has managed to find a nice long curtain and has even taken advantage of the natural waves of the material to conceal himself. He might even have got away with his little toes peeking out if it hadn’t been for the setting sun.
Maybe when he got there he was just enjoying the view of the sun going down, or maybe he just didn’t realise that it was creating a huge giveaway shadow, but whatever happened, the curtain wasn’t thick enough to save him.
14 When There's Nowhere Else To Hide
Quick! Hide! Panic sets in as an unexpected game of hide and seek takes you by surprise. One minute you’re just casually driving around the lawn, the next you must conceal yourself somewhere very clever. You look around at the options. Good sized bin? Too smelly. Trees? Too far away. Car? No. Small box? Obviously not. What choice do you have left? You’re going to have to hide underneath your own ride. There are clearly multiple problems with this. The first is that it’s not long enough for his body, the second that there is no element of colour camouflage, the third that he is in the middle of the lawn.
This kid needs further training urgently.
13 Changing Mats Have Many Uses
Who knows what was going through this kid’s mind when they chose this incredible hiding spot. To the left of this child, there is a lovely shadowy carpet. Why they didn’t go for this darker spot is a mystery. Lying in a bright sunny doorway wasn’t the best starting decision. But to follow it up with a random changing mat disguise just deepens the mystery. And finally, this kid has made the classic mistake of forgetting that they have feet and that they are a little longer than their hiding spot. Definitely a kid that needs to go back to hide and seek school.
12 Ghosts In The Kitchen
This is a more daring hiding position for advanced hide and seekers who fancy challenging themselves a little more. The main question here is ‘will the seeker even notice the sudden modern sculpture in the middle of the kitchen?’ Or alternatively, ‘will we freak out mum completely with our ghostly appearance?’ Whilst I admire the teamwork and commitment shown here by these kids, I am far from convinced that the seeker would not spot them quite quickly. As well as taking up a huge proportion of the space available, the cloth color is distinctive and we can see their facial features and arms.
11 I'll Just Stand Here Quietly
The classic ‘behind the curtain’ hiding spot can work extremely well. If you happen to have floor length and quite bunched up curtains. This would then be an optimum hiding spot even for an adult. But curtains can trick you into a false sense of security at times in this game. This kid has been a victim of curtain trickery and mistakenly thinks he has hidden himself quite successfully. After all, it’s all dark and from his perspective, he has hidden himself from the world quite well.
Two things to teach this junior hider - firstly, find a longer curtain, secondly, get close to that wall.
10 Minimum Effort Required
Hiding in plain sight can be a very effective tactic. Your seeker may be so busy looking in small nooks and crannies that they just won’t notice you there in the middle of the lounge. Or maybe this kid just couldn’t be bothered with rushing around trying to find a great hiding place - such as the tent right behind him - and thought he would simply cover his face.
After all, toddlers truly do believe that if they can’t see you, you can’t see them.
This is a developmental issue that can become a bit of a problem in this particular game but hopefully, as he grows up this little fella will master the art of hiding all of his body.
9 Cunning Toy Disguise
This kid has gone above and beyond for his game. Not only has he found a hiding place, but he has also even disguised himself as a toy. Clearly, any seeker passing by would simply dismiss this scene as a discarded toy box on the floor? To this boy’s credit, to lie still in what must be a slightly claustrophobic hiding spot takes great patience and determination. This kid is demonstrating creativity and resilience! It’s just too bad that the box wasn’t longer. Because I am pretty sure that no seeker will be fooled by a box that has legs and feet.
8 Just Smelling A Carpet
I’m not sure why this kid thought that this was a good spot. He appears to have given up on finding any really good hiding position and just resorted to laying on the floor under a desk. And it’s not even a big or solid desk. And presumably, his legs are just stuck out behind the chair on the other side. Very little effort from this hider, who is just taking a rest and sniffing the carpet whilst he’s waiting.
With a few minor tweaks this could have passed for an ok spot - just by curling right up and tucking that chair back in he might have lasted longer in this game.
7 Under The Furniture
In and under furniture is always a great spot to choose when playing hide and seek at home. Wardrobes, chairs, desks and tables are all prime locations for secreting yourself away from the keen seeker. This kid has done well to choose an item of furniture that is not only a good size for him but is also easy to get in and out of. No getting stuck in wardrobes for this little lad. However, it is unfortunate that he didn’t look up before he was found, as he might have spotted the flaw.
Glass is, of course, transparent.
6 Hoping Nobody Sits On The Rug
I’m not entirely sure how this kid decided that placing himself under this chunky looking rug would be a good spot to hide. If he had dressed in a furry white onesie he might have got away with this move as his legs would have blended in and confused the seeker quite effectively. However, the combination of small legs, hands and a cute little belly peeking out is a giveaway to this hider’s position. Heaven help him if someone wants to sit on that rug. Even the dog can’t quite believe what has happened here and is caught looking with disbelief at the photographer.
5 So Close To Successful
This kid was so close to a successful hiding session that we have to give him some credit. He has found an opaque container that actually fits him. He has skipped all the problems of our previous hiders because he can’t be seen, is actually concealed and fits into his hiding space. It’s such a shame that he didn’t quite manage to bend his knees up and conceal his feet too. Just a little step further would have made him unfindable! When he grows he will develop a little more body awareness, making him a hider to watch in the future.
4 Where Is That Child?
When we picture the bedroom during a game of hide and seek we might consider stepping into the wardrobe, or behind the door, or perhaps even under the bed. At a push, we might think about lying under the covers very flat and still. What we probably wouldn’t consider is laying just on top of the end of the bed that is normally quite flat and smooth. Whilst I appreciate that this kid has made an effort to cover his head, albeit, with a very brightly coloured cloth, he really hasn’t chosen the best spot in the room.
3 The Sofa Ate Me
The sofa can be a difficult piece of equipment to use, especially if you are quite small, or young and inexperienced. Having climbed on to the comfortable cushions you expect to lay back and relax in the pillowy cushions. What you don’t expect is that the sofa might actually eat you up altogether, but apparently, this is a possibility. This kid has used this situation to his advantage and managed to completely hide most of his body.
He is just casually posing as a cushion. Now just as long as nobody checks out those legs he’ll be home and dry. …...
2 Not The Best Curtain To Hide Behind
Well done to this little girl, who has dodged most curtain -hider errors so far. She has used a floor length curtain, although she needs to step back to make herself really invisible. She has also checked the sun and stood in a slightly shaded spot. So, in theory, this should be a great spot to hide. But here’s the problem that our little hider hasn’t thought about. Lace certainly makes a beautiful curtain but is certainly not an effective mask, mainly due to its huge amount of holes.
Let’s hope she can graduate to nice thick linen curtains quite soon.
1 I'm Quite Slim, So This Should Work
Playing hide and seek outside can be tricky, particularly if you are somewhere unfamiliar. Hiding behind trees and bushes is just too obvious for some kids, who prefer to challenge themselves a little more. Sometimes panic just sets in if the seeker has almost finished his count and you just pick the first place you see.
Whatever the reason, this kid has perhaps looked at the white post and decided that his white t-shirt and light grey trousers would work perfectly as camouflage. It's too bad he hasn’t managed to consider the size difference here. Maybe if he stays still he’ll be ok.