Developing Early Math Skill: Peek-a-Boo

Peek-a-boo is a game which you close your face with both of your hands (peek) and open it while saying "boo!". Sounds familiar right? Now, you may wonder, how can peek a boo related to Math? Me too! haha..

This may look like a simple game, but apparently it teaches baby about the concept of object permanence: something is there even though you can't see it. I think it's a perfect activity for today. I hope by understanding the concept of object permanence, Alula will start to work on her separation anxiety.

Today we played three types of peek-a-boo game. Let's go through one by one.

Peek-a-boo 1

Lulu is imitating Mama doing a peek-a-boo

This is the simplest peek-a-boo game. I covered my face with my hands and open them while saying "boo!". As usual, Lulu will giggle whenever I boo her. After my turn, she will immediately taking her turn - covering her eyes by her hands.

Aside from Math concept, there are few lessons from this game:

  • Alula was able to imitate Mama doing a peek-a-boo
  • Right and left hands coordination
  • Taking turn

Peek-a-boo 2

Covering the doll with a piece of cloth

In the second game, we incorporated Alula's favourite doll into our peek-a-boo play. I put the doll on the mat and cover it with a piece of cloth (peek), then pull the cloth while saying "boo!".

At first, Alula stunned for a while. Maybe she wondered where does her doll go. But, after I repeat the game several times, she started to get excited to play along.

Lessons from this game:

  • Alula get another example in learning the concept of object permanence, the doll is still there despite covered up by a cloth
  • Alula was able to imitate Mama to cover the cloth onto her doll
  • Fine motor exercise on hands coordination - how to cover up all parts of the doll without anything exposed

Peek-a-boo 3

The third peek-a-boo game is a moving peek-a-boo, or hide and seek! From my previous observation, Alula is a kinaesthetic learner. She learns better when she's moving.

Well, actually there is Mama's hidden agenda in this game. She begins experiencing separation anxiety after her first birthday. I get it that it's expected and normal. By playing this game Mama hopes that Lulu will understand more about the objet presence concept - whenever Mama leaves her side for a while, Mama is still there.

Out third game is so fun! I started by hiding while calling her name. Then Lulu will rushed to find the source of my voice and find my hiding place. I can see so much joy on her whenever she finds me.

Lulu's facial expression when she finds Mama's hideout 

Lesson from this game:

  • Lulu exercises her hearing ability
  • Playing hide-and-seek gives Lulu some valuable physical benefits as well since the exercise helps her build stamina and aids muscle development.
  • Through this game Alula is learning about spatial awareness, which is one of the important aspects in developing early math skill in a baby