Peek-a-boo is a favorite game for babies and toddlers, and, if a partner is willing, babies and toddlers can play this game for long periods of time.
Why is “peek-a-boo” so much fun and attractive at this age?
Children are working on many developmental and emotional milestones during their first three years of life. A major milestone is that the babies/toddlers begin to see themselves as separate from their Mommy.“Peek-a-boo” is a simple game that enables a child to see and experience themselves as different from their Mommy…hiding behind their hands, or hiding under a diaper or blanket. It is a way for them to feel separate but maintain clear control of how long they will play. Just as Mommy disappears and reappears in the game of peek-a-boo, Mommy now can literally disappear, but the toddler knows she still exists and will return. “Peek-a-boo” supports a child on the journey to becoming a separate, autonomous little person. It helps a child create and hold a mental picture of their Mommy in their mind for extended periods of time. The child creates this image in her mind's eye and with it all the memories of how Mommy sounds, feels, smells, and interacts with her. The child can feel the security of Mommy's presence. This phase of development is called “Object Constancy.”