The Science Behind Playing Peek-A-Boo

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The Science Behind Playing Peek-A-Boo?

Do you know the science behind playing peek-a-boo? A while ago I managed a visit to a friend’s home, a friend who has a baby and a toddler. I had a fantastic time. I’d forgotten just how fun it was to be around little one’s. I’ve been unwell for so long now and my own nieces and nephews live far away in New Zealand. For a while I’d forgotten just how fun babies can be.

developmental science

Being around the little one’s, made me feel alive once more. You see I used to be an Early Years Teacher. I’ve worked with many age groups but one Job I really loved was when I worked at a private day care in Auckland City Centre. The parents were white collar workers such as lawyers and Doctors. I looked after the same 8 babies every day. It was fantastic.

One thing I loved to do was read stories and sing nursery rhymes. I love music and reading with young children. This is one thing I am very passionate about. I also loved to play peekaboo and play with finger puppets. The babies loved this.

Have you ever wondered why babies and infants laugh and smile when you play peek a boo or when you hide a finger puppet out of sight and bring it back to view?

When I was at University I learned about “Object Permanence“, a cognitive development theory written by Piaget depicting how infants see and understand objects.

The Science of Object Permanence.

Young babies and infants are not cognitively able to understand that an object can be moved. Therefore if you show them an object and suddenly remove it, they will in their tiny minds think this is amazing because the object has disappeared.

Likewise when you cover you face (to play play peekaboo) a baby will giggle and smile, not because your playing a fun game but because they think you have literally disappeared and suddenly come back. Babies find this fascinating.

It takes many months for a baby to develop complete object permanence. For most babies it is at about 7-8 months.

So why am I sharing this? Well it’s simply a subject which fascinates me and something I thought you may be interested to read about. It’s a fascinating subject. What do you think?

Angela x

Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and is passionate about kids crafts and having fun as a family. Angela has also taught cooking skills and loves to share both family recipes and easy crafts here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!

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