Peek-a-boo is a game which is played in many different cultures around the world. Although it is a simple game, it is important to the baby’s development of the idea that things disappear and appear again. When a baby has this knowledge, they become aware of important caregivers leaving and may become upset. Playing peek-a-boo games can help the very young baby adjust to your leaving and coming back
Playing peek-a-boo is also important in language development. Babies learn language through warm, social interactions with their caregivers. Later toddlers learn to say “all gone” when things disappear.
Get your baby’s attention first by calling baby’s name. Cover your face with your hands and ask, “Where’s Mommy/Daddy?” Immediately uncover your face, give your baby a big smile and say “peek-a-boo!” You can also give your baby a cuddle or a hug to show that you didn’t really disappear.
Vary the game by lightly covering your baby’s face with a scarf or light cloth. Talk to your baby as you pull away the scarf and say “peek-a-boo!” Another variation is to cover your face with the cloth and ask your baby “Where’s Mommy/Daddy?” If your baby doesn’t pull the cloth away, you can pull it off and say “Peek-a-boo!” Soon your baby will pull the cloth away.
If your baby is behind something such as a chair, you could say the following rhyme as you “find” the baby:
Peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo, Who’s that hiding there?
Peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo, (baby’s name) is hiding behind the chair!