Hide and Seek is a traditional children’s game, where the “seeker” closes their eyes and counts to 20 while everyone else hides. When they reach 20, the seeker says, “ready or not, here I come.” The winner is the last player to be found.
Continue reading to find out how to play hide and seek, what the rules are, where the best places to play hide and seek are (plus a list of hiding tips), and hide and seek variations if you’re looking for a game with a unique twist.
How To Set Up The Game
Setting up a game of Hide and Seek is pretty straightforward as it requires no additional materials to play. Getting the correct number of participants and seeking out the perfect location are great ways to ensure that your game of hide and seek is fun for everyone.
1. Choose Your Players.
Hide and seek can be played with a minimum of two players; however, additional players often make the game more fun and help bring some variety.
While younger children can fit into smaller spaces, older participants may have better ideas for hiding spots along with the stamina to wait it out. Selecting a diverse range of players can add some range to your game.
2. Explain The Rules To All Participants.
Once you’ve decided on the rules for your game, it’s important that you communicate those rules to each player. Not only does this make the game fair for everybody, but it ensures their safety too.
For example, it’s crucial to establish a boundary if you have young players so they don’t wander off, especially if you’re playing the game outdoors.
3. Find A Good Location To Host Your Game.
It’s a good idea to pick a suitable location before gathering your group together, this way you don’t have to waste time trying to decide where to go or worry about transport to get you there.
Planning means that everyone is prepared for the environment where you’re hosting the game. Your house, other people’s houses, parks, or gardens are great places to start.
How To Play The Game
1. Choose Who Will Be “It”
There are several ways that you can select the person to be “it” or the “seeker:”
- Youngest player
- Oldest player
- Draw numbers from a hat
- Draw straws
- Pick a playing card (highest or lowest is it)
2. Start The Game
The person who is “it” closes their eyes and begins to count. The number you count to depends on the size of your playing area, number of participants, and their physical ability; 20 is often a good place to start.
Meanwhile, the other players run away to find the best hiding spots. Once you find the perfect place, it’s a good idea to be still and silent as any movement or noise is liable to draw the seeker’s attention to you.
3. The Seeking Begins
The person deemed “it” must begin searching for the other players. Once a player is found, they can join the seeker in finding the other players.
You may wish to set an allotted amount of time, after which the seeker shouts an all-clear to let the other players know that the round has ended.
4. Start the Next Round
Whichever player was the first to be found becomes the seeker, and the game continues for as many rounds as you wish.
Where Are The Best Places For Hide And Seek?
Below are important considerations to take into account when choosing the perfect hiding spot:
1. Is the area big enough and comfortable enough?
If you have to stay in one place for the entire round, you’ll be seeking a spot where you can stay still and be comfortable that also provides coverage for your whole body.
2. Avoid the obvious.
Think like the seeker. If your hiding spot appears as a good hiding spot, then it may seem that way to the seeker too. Go for the less obvious hiding place, even if it means less coverage.
3. Behind, Underneath, Or Above?
Now you need to look for something to hide behind (e.g., a door or fence), underneath (e.g., a table or bench), or above (e.g., a fridge or tree).
The best hiding spots are a tight squeeze, provide maximum coverage, and are original.
What Are Good Hiding Tips For Hide And Seek?
- As you move towards your hiding spot, make the minimum noise possible; squeaky floorboards or rustling branches will give clues as to your chosen direction.
- Additionally, try your best to leave the surrounding environment untouched. Areas that have been trodden down or rearranged are an excellent place for the seeker to start looking.
- Enter your hiding spot as quietly as possible. Think tactically about your position: getting into a comfortable position may enable you to maintain it for longer periods without moving, but twisting your body into an unconventional shape to fit the area may be less evident for the seeker.
- Give yourself maximum coverage. If you’re hiding in a wardrobe trying piling clothes on top of yourself. If you’re hiding beneath a bush, add some leafy coverage.
- Stay calm and quiet and avoid making sounds or movements that give away your location.
Hide And Seek Game Variations
If you want to add a twist to your game of Hide and Seek, try out one of the variations below.
Add-In A Home Base
If you want to add a challenge for the hiders, turn the home base into the goal. The home base is generally the place where the seeker begins to count. In this game variation, players must return to the home base to “beat the seeker,” and the last one back becomes it.
If the seeker spots you as you make your way to the home base, you can make the rule that either:
- The seeker closes their eyes for 10 seconds while you run back to your original hiding spot
- You are out of that round
Sardines is almost an opposite version of hide and seek, where the person is chosen as “it” is the one who hides. The hiding place must be spacious enough for all players.
As each player finds the person labeled “it,” they must join them in their chosen hiding spot. The last person to find the other players becomes “it” and must seek a new hiding place while the other players close their eyes and count to 20.
Jailbreak brings a fun capture and release twist to a game of hide and seek. Begin by selecting an area to represent the “jail.” Each time a seeker finds a player, they must go to jail.
However, the other hiders can release the prisoners by tagging them if the seeker does not catch them.
The game ends when all players are in prison.
This is hide and seek for teams and works well with larger groups of people. Additionally, it would help if you had a big area to play this game, such as a park. Each team (ideally five-plus people) chooses a base. The teams swap bases and hide.
All players must return to their original base without being tagged to win.
Hide and seek is a traditional game suitable for all ages that are age-proof, weather-proof, and requires little to no setup. It’s easy to learn how how to play hide and seek .
With numerous variations available, it’s easy to play this game again and again without getting bored.