Hide and Seek (and its cousin, Sardines) has been a perennial favorite with the children in my house. Lately it has been one of the games of choice, mainly due to the fact that B. has agreed to play and any time the older children join in, something is immediately more fun for the younger children. M. has also been playing a lot of the game since she is nannying this summer and her young charge enjoys it as well.
All this hiding and seeking has led to some interesting discussions between me and M. Who knew that a side benefit of growing up in a large family was the development of really good Hide and Seek skills? I was also unaware of the level of seriousness with which my oldest children now take the game when they play. M. made a passing comment about how she has learned to breathe silently when hiding because when B. is seeking, he will enter a room and just stand a listen for a while. Listen for breathing and movement, that is. With the youngest and middles, this can be an effective strategy.
I suppose this shouldn't surprise me. Once when B. was 6 and was playing Hide and Seek with his grandmother, he hid so well that she never found him. Having looked, she supposed, everywhere, she assumed he had left the house and became rather angry (out of fear, of course). It turns out that he had wedged himself in an under sink cabinet (which did not look as though it could contain a 6 year old boy) and remained absolutely silent. Though knowing B., the quiet part was not so much a stretch for his as it might be for other boys.
After all this rambling about Hide and Seek, I will leave you with instructions for how to play its lesser known counterpart, Sardines. Sardines is sort of an anti-Hide and Seek. It begins with one person hiding. After everyone else has counted to the agreed on number, they split up and begin to look for the person who is hidden. The twist is that when someone finds this hiding person, they hide along with him. Ultimately everyone will be hiding but one last person who is still looking and the game ends. According to M., the next hider is the player who found the previous hider first.