As the world is new to them, babies do not know that things continue to exist even if they are hidden (called ‘object permanence’). Playing ‘Peekaboo’ achieves this. Enjoy baby’s delight as they anticipate you appearing from behind your hands again!

Why do it?

  • It’s a fun way for baby to begin learning about ‘object permanence’ — that people and things can disappear and then reappear again.
  • Repetitions of games like ‘peekaboo’ help baby begin to understand that something can still exist, even when they can’t see it.

How to do it

There are many ways to play ‘peekaboo’. The parent can hide:

  • their own face, saying something like, ‘Where am I?’ and then pop out, saying ‘Peekaboo!’
  • baby’s face, saying something like, ‘Where’s Baby?’, and then expose baby’s face saying, ‘Peekaboo!’
  • behind a curtain or piece of furniture, then pop out and say, ‘Peekaboo!’
  • a toy behind a cloth or behind their back, and then show it to baby and say, ‘Peekaboo!’

Using more reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Look for, search
A cover
Tangohia te tūpoki Take away the cover
Kei hea te pēpi? Where’s baby?
Kei konei ā oēoi Here’s baby
Kei hea au? Where am I?
Anei ahau Here I am!
Whakahokia te tūpoki Put back the cover
He pai ki ā koe tēnei kēmu? Do you like this game?
He kēmu pai nē rā It’s a good game isn’t it!