Hide-and-seek is a classic children’s game that can be played both indoors and out. In the traditional game, players hide in an area while one person (“it”) counts from one to 100 with his back turned then must find the hidden players. Hide-and-seek is a versatile game that can be adapted to different age groups, varying levels of physical ability and a range of environments. Hide-and-seek is enjoyed internationally due to its simple concept and unlimited recreational appeal.
“Sardines” reverses the roles of classic hide-and-seek, requiring one player to hide while the remaining participants are "it." The seekers cover their eyes and count to 100 then go off to search for the hidden player. Anyone who finds the “hider” must quietly join her in the hiding spot while the remaining players continue the search. A play area with spacious, well-concealed hiding spots is ideal because the space becomes filled with multiple players as the game progresses. The game ends when the last seeker discovers the hiding spot, where his fellow players are now packed like “sardines in a can.”
Sheep and Wolf/Ghost in the Graveyard
“Sheep and Wolf” is an animal-based hiding game geared to young children. A home base is established before the game begins. One player accepts the role of the “wolf” and hides. The remaining players act as the “sheep” and close their eyes until they hear the wolf howl. The object of the game is to spot the wolf and call out to alert the other sheep. The wolf emerges and attempts to tag one of the sheep. Any sheep that is tagged before reaching the home base must become the wolf. If the wolf fails to catch any of the sheep, she must try again in the next round. “Ghost in the Graveyard” is a spookier version played by older children in a dark environment. The “ghost” hides while the other players count. The ghost sneaks up on other players and tags them, creating more ghosts.
“Messenger” combines classic hide-and-seek with the popular children’s game, “Telephone.” The designated seeker counts at the home base with his eyes covered while the other players hide. The seeker can use this time to come up with a short sentence that will serve as the message. The message can be straightforward or silly, but it should be simple enough for the seeker to remember. Once the seeker locates a hiding spot, he whispers the message to the player then returns to home base to wait. The captured player now becomes the seeker and repeats the same action. When the last hidden player receives the message, she returns to home base and whispers it to the original messenger. If the message is correct, the player chooses the next seeker. If the message is wrong, the player must become "it" for the next round.
“Ring-A-Levio” is a team-based hide-and-seek game similar to the classic game “Cops and Robbers.” A “jail” area is staked out at the beginning of the game where the guards close their eyes and count. Players must also mark the “danger zone,” a square boundary surrounding the jail. One guard stays in the danger zone to protect the jail while the other guards attempt to catch prisoners. A member of the prisoners’ team can free players from the jail by sneaking into the prison and shouting “Ring-A-Levio.” The guard can recapture prisoners by tagging them before they escape the danger zone. The game is finished when all prisoners are caught.
- Teach Kids How: Teach Your Child to Play Hide and Seek
- "Great Big Book of Children's Games"; Debra Wise and Sandra Forrest; 2003
- "Connecting Kids: Exploring Diversity Together"; Linda Hill; 2001
Ess Loumarr is a freelance writer from New England and has worked as a copywriter since 2008. Her short fiction has appeared in the "Spectrum Anthology" at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and composition at Columbia University, as well as prizes for playwriting and fiction.