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Playing peekaboo



Suitable for children: 
Mother and son playing peekaboo

Next time you have a few minutes or you are waiting for the bus to arrive play peekaboo with your baby. You can play using your hands to cover your face. You can also hide behind a book or a paper and pop out from behind it.

Before you start make sure you are facing your baby and have their attention. Try and keep your baby’s attention by changing the noise you make and your facial expression.


Encourage your child to join in by helping them to cover their own face with their hands.

Materials you will need

  • Your baby
  • Your voice
  • Your hands
  • Your face

Alternative tools

  • A book
  • A newspaper

Why does this matter?

Playing peekaboo with your child helps them notice and follow the patterns around them.

As you play peekaboo together they are learning that patterns are repeated routines which are predictable. When your child can notice the pattern and describe what is happening they are able to plan and sequence events around them.

What does this lead to?

As you play peekaboo with your child they are learning that patterns are all around them. They are learning that patterns can be represented through repeated actions, symbols or objects.

As you play peekaboo your child will be making the connection between informal observation and more formal mathematical concepts.

Language to use

  • Repeat, plan, sequence
  • Notice, copy, follow
  • Same, different
  • Cover, uncover
  • Face, eyes, hands

Questions to use

  • Can you see me?
  • Are my eyes still there?
  • Where did my face go?

Useful tips

  1. Information about hearing, vision and language development can be found in your child’s health record in the Blue Book.
  2. If you are concerned about your child’s hearing or vision talk to your local doctor.
  3. Remember to talk to your child in your home language.

More ideas

Talk about the different patterns that happen during the day, such as ‘you always have a sleep after lunch’.

Variation by age

Birth to two year olds

  • Can you do the same as me?
  • Did that change?
  • Can you hear the fast music?

Questions to ask

  • Can you do the same as me?
  • Did that change?
  • Can you hear the fast music?

Language to use

  • Peekaboo!