Monday, November 14, 2011

Hide and Seek – Variations for Fun Indoor Family Activities

Ready or Not...Here Comes a Fun Game of Hide & Seek! ©Katrena
Hide-and-seek, also called hide-and-go-seek, is a simple and free game that can make inside play time a world of fun together. This game has very simple directions, little or no necessary supplies, and can easily be tweaked for various age levels and may be played with small or large groups. Families and friends can find this to be a fun way to connect.

Variations of hide-and-seek may be helpful if you have kids of various ages or if the children want to play the game over and over. You may want to try some different themes and ways of playing the game to make it new and exciting again and to incorporate some educational skills; however, I have found that the tried and true basic game can be fun over and over again. My kids seem to never tire of playing hide and seek.

Step-by-step Guide for Playing Hide-and-Seek With Variations
How to Play Hide-and-Seek: the Basics
  1. Determine the limits and boundaries in which players may hide before beginning to play.
  2. Choose someone to be the seeker (a very young child might want to accompany the seeker each time).
  3. All other players are the hiders (little ones may need to be paired with a more experienced hider).
  4. The seeker goes to a designated room, also known as home or home base, closes the door, and counts to 10.
  5. The hiders hide in a chosen spot.
  6. When the seeker gets to 10, he shouts "Ready or not, here I come!"
  7. The seeker begins to look for the hiders until everyone is found.
  8. The last person to be found becomes the next seeker.
Hide-and-go-Seek Variations for Various Ages & Abilities
Fun Variations of Hide-and-Seek

Add more interest to hide-and-seek by letting all hiders have the ability to get back to home base before the seeker finds them. As the seeker begins to look, the hiders can sneak back to home base to become "safe." This works best when the home base is in a central location in the house.

The seeker may recruit help in one version of hide and seek as the found players may assist with finding other hiders. Eventually all players will be searching for a lone hider at the end.

Make hide-and-go-seek harder and quicker by placing a short time limit on each turn. As the seeker begins to look, he only has a designated number of minutes to find everyone. Another way to make the game go faster is to have all hiders to hide in the same place.

Another way to make hide-and-seek harder is to allow hiders to change hiding places while the seeker is searching. Hiders may even move to hide in home base.

Make hide-and-go-seek easier by having the seeker to say a word while the hiders respond with a word. For example, every time the hider says "Marco," the hiders must respond with "Polo." This variation can be made more difficult if the seeker is blindfolded.

Add some interest and a few school skills by having the seeker to count to ten backwards, in another language, or to skip count by 2s, 3s, 5s, 10s, etc. Fast counters might need to count to 20, 50, or 100. The game might be themed to a holiday as the seeker names reindeer or names ten items related to a holiday. Instead of counting, the seeker might have to name the books of the New Testament, identify states in a region on a map, or sing a song before looking for the others who are hiding.

Hide-and-seek after dark can loads of fun to this traditional and simple game. Turn out the lights and try the game in the dark. You may wish to turn on nightlights in a few select areas for safety purposes. The seeker may or may not carry a flashlight. Even very open places in the daytime might make great hiding places if they are in the shadows. Another option for after dark hide-and-seek is to hide glowing items, such as glow sticks, instead of people or to have each person to carry a glow stick.

Another variation of hide and seek in the dark is to give it a theme and encourage a bit of acting. I remember when my mom would pretend to be a witch and would cackle and say "Where are those little children?" in her best witchy voice. When she would scrape her fingernails along the heating ducts while searching, it would send shivers down the bravest spine!

Teach Life Skills With Hide-and-go-Seek ©Katrena
Simple Games That Encourage Learning Skills

It can be great fun to watch the kids develop their thinking skills and teamwork abilities as they grow older. They can go from giggling and saying "I'm here" to finding a hiding places that no one can readily find. Families who enjoy playing hide-and-go-seek may also like to try some scavenger hunts or find other great indoor activities. Check out the Wildflower Bouquets site map for all of my resources for enjoying life's simple pleasures – I add content on a regular basis, so visit my site again soon!

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