Why do babies love peek-a-boo?


Peek-a-boo never gets old! One of us will hide our eyes, then slowly (or quickly!) reveal them, exclaiming peek-a-boo! Then comes the hordes of magical and addictive baby laughter, which causes us to laugh in turn. Then we repeat it again, and again.
Babies can recognise repeated words & actions of simple games very early on, and start to predict what will happen next, enjoying the perfect balance of surprise & expectation! When they’re proven right, the feel-good hormone dopamine is released, making them feel warm and happy. Peek-a-boo is also a favourite game for babies and toddlers to explore the concept of object permanence – the idea that things can come back after they have disappeared from view. Babies spend the first two years of life working it out, making those first two years prime peek-a-boo time!

As your little one grows & takes on new abilities, so can the game of peek-a-boo. Peek-a-boo for our youngest tiny’s can look like simple ‘looming’, where you simply announce that you are coming & bring your face into close focus for the baby (remember babies can only focus 20 – 35cm away for the first few months of life). As your tiny grows, you could update the game to a more well-known version of peek-a-boo, covering each other’s eyes & magically jumping out again! After a year or so you could adapt the game again to allow your little one to take control by hiding & reappearing themselves. Peek-a-boo really is the game that keeps on giving! Repetition is fundamental for baby’s support in so many areas of development – we find their laughter so addictive that the repetition is a wonderful experience for endless rounds of the game!

As if that cute baby giggle isn’t reason enough, there are a host of other benefits to playing a fun round (or 100) of peek-a-boo – it can also help to build gross motor skills, strengthen visual tracking, support emotional development (surprise, anticipation, excitement) as well as stimulate their senses.

We love peek-a-boo time at SensorStory & we’re passionate about sharing the motivations & benefits of all the developmental activities & materials we use in our classes, as well as those we recommend trying at home, as is the Montessori way.
Why not try playing peekaboo with your little one at home this week, we’ve even created the perfect little song to play along to!

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