Playing hide and seek – “Come on, let’s play hide and seek”, who doesn’t know that from childhood? Playing hide and seek is one of the leisure games and is often played in group lessons or on birthdays. Even if the rules or the course of the game are known to almost everyone, we summarize the most important key data here.

Rules and instructions for playing hide and seek


Regardless of whether it is outdoors or indoors, every terrain and every room in which one can hide from the seeker is suitable for playing hide-and-seek. For smaller children, a small living area or a garden full of trees and bushes is sufficient. For older children, a larger area with lots of hiding places would be more suitable to enable a more challenging game of hide and seek.


Usually the child who has to search first is selected through a counting rhyme. Leaning against a tree or a wall, the chosen one covers their eyes and counts up to an agreed number so that the other children can hear everything. The other children look for a suitable hiding place during the counting time and keep quiet as a mouse. When the searching child has finished counting, one of the following rhymes follows in most hide and seek games:

  • “One, two, three, four corner stones, everything has to be hidden. It doesn’t count behind me and in front of me, and not on either side!
  • One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten – I’m coming! “

Or simply

  • “Eckstein, Eckstein, everything must be hidden. 1 – 2 – 3 – I’m coming! “

The searching child is now allowed to open his eyes and begins to track down the other children. Depending on the variant, either the child found has to be touched or called by their name. The first person found will be the next seeker. When all children have been found, the round is over and a new one begins with a new searcher.

Hide and Seek Games – Different variants

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Multiple hiding places

If the last child is not found after a long search, then the other discovered ones are allowed to go on the search as well. If the missing child is discovered by a seeker, he is allowed to hide together with the child he is looking for. Both then wait for the next one to come, etc. This game goes on until everyone except the last looking child has found a group. The seeker can also abort the game if there are several people in a hiding place and then choose one of the hiding people as the next seeker.

Playing hide-and-seek with notices

If the seeker has found someone who is hiding, he has to quickly return to his counting point, hit his hand there and call out the name of the person found. But there is also the variant to strike three times with the call 1,2,3 for XY.

However, those who are hidden have the opportunity to reach the mark faster than the seeker and break free. Even an unnoticed hiding person can try to come to the time secretly in order to break free. What counts here is the tactical consideration of staying in hiding or taking the risk of being caught defeating yourself.

The game is over when all the children have been found, free or broken. The seeker must clearly move away from the mark, otherwise it counts as a cat or wake. So that no one is hiding behind the tree or the wall or the mark, one says again:

  • “Behind me, in front of me, left, right, it does not apply”
play hide and seek

Three partings

If the first one is already cut off here, another can come out of his hiding place and call out “all free” at the tee-off location. Then all are free who were already found before. If all are free at the end, the old seeker has to count again.


There are two groups, divided into seekers and hiding people. The searching group builds an A from branches and has to guard the A. If someone is found hiding, he has to go to an area near the A and shout out loud. The prisoner can only be freed if the other hiding places manage to crush the built-up A of the seeker. If the trampling succeeds, then the hiding places are allowed to look for a new hiding place and the seekers build the A again from branches. The game ends when either the whole hiding group has been completely caught or when there is no longer any desire to play. Instead of an A, you can alternatively set up three sticks to form a pyramid.

Play hide and seek

A viewfinder is selected and counts to a specific number with his eyes closed. The other children hide in the meantime. If a child is found by the seeker, it has to run away and, like playing catch, be caught first. The next seeker is the child who was caught.


If there is a terrain with few hiding spots, then this variant is well suited. While the viewfinder counts from 13 to zero, the rest of the children hide. When it reaches zero, the viewfinder opens its eyes and is allowed to take three steps in any direction. If the seeker has discovered a child, he can call out his name. If he was unsuccessful, he closes his eyes again, but this time counting from 12 to zero. In the meantime, everyone has to leave their hiding place, briefly tap the viewfinder and hide again. The whole thing is repeated, one count shorter, until the first player has been found. The next counting location can be chosen at will.

Playing hide and seek on vacation

You can find more great ideas for hiding here as videos:


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