My little second grader from-a-land-far-far-away squirmed on his wobbly stool as he tried to figure out the third word in the title of his book. “Hide and…See? Seeeeee….k?” What is that?” he asked.
I knew the word “seek” would be unfamiliar in English to him, but I hoped it would pop into his head when he figured out the title was the name of a familiar game.
Or was it? “J,” I asked, “do you know how to play hide and seek?” He solemnly shook his head no.
I smiled. This was going to be fun. “Oh class!” I interrupted their work. “J doesn’t know what hide and seek is. Shall we show him?”
The kids jumped up with a resounding YES and were ready for action. I turned J around on his stool, had him cover his eyes and told him to count s l o w l y to 20. As he did so, the rest of the kids scrambled to find hiding spots. It wasn’t easy. Most of them ran to the closet and quickly hid behind the doors. A couple of boys dodged behind a row of cabinets, and one desperate little girl ducked underneath a desk.
When J got to 20, he opened his eyes and looked at me. I told him to say, “READY OR NOT, HERE I COME!” and he repeated it in a loud voice. Then he turned around. The kids were GONE! He was delighted!
“Where did they go??”
“They are hiding from you! You have to SEEK them, FIND them!”
With a shout, he jumped up and ran for the closet. The seven pairs of feet showing under the doors was a pretty big giveaway, but the kids laughed with excitement just the same. J made quick work of pointing out the kids behind the cupboards and the poor girl in plain view under the desk, and they all congratulated him. Then he came running back to me.
“We can play this again?” he asked.
“At recess,” I told him.
He whirled around and shouted at the class, “You will play this again with me outside at recess?”
“YES! We will!” was the answer.
J went on to read the whole book called “Hide and Seek” which was full of cute animals hiding from a little bear. He laughed at every new page and talked a mile a minute about where the animals were hiding and how the bear would find each one of them. And every once in awhile he looked up at his classmates, now back at their desks and working away, with a huge smile—his heart bursting with the fun they were going to have playing this awesome “new” game with him.