Peek-a-Boo is one of those games every parent loves to play with their children. I have played it many times with my nephew, and he just laughs and laughs. Every time my face would pop out from behind my hands, a huge grin would brighten up my nephew’s whole face. What makes this game so fun to a baby? It’s the lack of object permanence. When parents block their face with their hands while playing a game of peek-a-boo with their babies, their babies actually think that their parents have disappeared. They no longer exist. That is why babies think it is so funny when their parents re-appear. It is like they appeared out of thin air. When a baby reaches the age of 8 to 12 months they develop object permanence, meaning that if a parent puts their face behind their hands, their child is still going to know that they exist even when they cannot see them. Now when I play hide-and-go-seek with my nephew he knows that I still exist and he needs to come find me. Mastering object permanence is a major advance in cognitive development. Who knew that a simple game could test your child’s advances in cognitive development!?
By: Kelsea Kreighbaum
I never really thought about the children's games as actually being beneficial to their development. To me, they were just fun games. Now that I understand what object permanence is all about, those games have more meaning. I remember when my kids, who are now 24 and 20, were this age. Peek-a-boo was a fun game to play with them. It is interesting to see how they followed along these developmental paths.