2 Ways Playing Peek-A-Boo With Your Baby Helps Them Develop

We are blown away by all that Noah is accomplishing. Since we take and post so many videos of our son who was born with Down syndrome, you can really see that every week something new and exciting is happening. It’s so fun to watch him grow and develop.

2 Reasons Playing Peek-A-Boo Helps Babies Born With Down Syndrome

Peekaboo is one of the first games a child learns to play. Not only is it fun, but it also shows a significant milestone for their cognitive development. It is highly entertaining for both parents and children. In fact, I would even say it is more fun for the parents in this house, as we can’t stop playing.

Peekaboo Strengths Their Core Muscles

We have been working on Noah sitting up by himself. It has been pretty entertaining during the days around this video as we would just find Noah sitting up by himself. We have no idea how he got there, but he GOT THERE 🙂 It is pretty funny to walk up on the pack ‘n play or his crib and just see him sitting there very proud of himself.  We make sure to cheer him on in his accomplishments even if we can’t see them first hand yet.

peek a boo baby playing with dad

He is such a ham!


If you have been following us for awhile, you know we work on Noah’s core in various ways, either using the exercise ball, a swing, and just plain old sit ups. Our therapist believe that the majority of developmental milestones come from a strong core including both gross and fine motor skills, even eating.

We found a great way to encourage our son to do sit ups, in a very unexpected way; playing peek-a-boo! As you can see in today’s video Noah will sit up from almost laying down to grab our hands and expose our face. Everyone finds it hilarious…..except maybe his abs. 🙂

Object Permanence

Peek-a-boo actually is a significant cognitive milestone in that your child has figured out object permanence.

Hmmm…what does that mean?Well, it means that even though an object is hidden they know it is actually still there. Prior to this milestone if an object (including you) was out of sight they no longer thought it existed. Now your child is going to realize you are still present when you leave the room, or when you hide your face from their view.

Pretty cool, huh?

baby down syndrome playing peek a boo

We could play peek a boo all day with this baby!

Piaget’s Theory Of Cognitive Development

Object permanence is one of the most important parts of our first stage of development that Piaget calls the sensorimotor stage which lasts until about 2 years old.  This theory by swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget has various stages. Piaget thinks that at about 9 months a child realizes that things they can’t see still exist. He stated that a child goes about 6 stages during the sensorimotor development stage and in a brief summary these are:

  1. Do not realize objects exist
  2. Noticing an object and following it
  3. Finding an object when it is partially hidden
  4. Finding an object it when it is completely hidden
  5. Finding an object when it is hid multiple times
  6. Finding an object hidden within another object, and using problem solving to figure out where an item might be.

This theory is being challenged as other studies show that they believe that even younger babies have an understanding of object permanence but were unable to do the activities to expose their knowledge, such as pulling off a blanket. Some believe they have this ability even at birth!

brain development children born with down syndrome

And you thought peek a boo was just child play!

Regardless of which theory you think is correct the bottom line is that playing peek a boo with your son or daughter is tons of fun! In fact, I’m pretty sure we could play this simple game with our son all day long.

What games are your children playing right now? At what age did your baby start playing peek-a-boo, and where you as entertained with your baby playing peek-a-boo as we were?

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About Rick Smith

Hi, I'm Noah's Dad and I'm passionate about giving the world a window into our life as we raise our son who was born with Down syndrome. I also enjoy connecting with other families, so let's stay connected.


  1. Caleigh M Crow says

    baby now thinks being tickled is funny… Thats our new “game”

    Interesting info you provided! Thanks..now to watch the video…

    • Oh that’s awesome. I remember when Noah first started laughing out loud. I still can’t stop tickling him just to hear that laugh! Don’t you just love it? 🙂

  2. He is so cute!!  My sister had Downs!  She has passed on to the other side now.  Every time I see your little boy, it makes me think how lucky we both are to had and have one of these special children in our lives.  Thanks for sharing him with us all!!  I love reading about him as he is growing up!!

  3. So cute and great information. We love peekaboo too…now we might turn it into therapy:)

  4. Isaac is 13 months old and within the last month just started playing peek-a-boo.  It melts my heart to watch him play that game with his big sister who is 3 yrs old.  They are like two pees in a pod. 
    We too are trying to get him to sit on his own.  He can sit on his own, but cannot get to a sitting position on his own.  We are very proud of his accomplishments and look forward to every milestone.  Both kids are such a blessing, and to see them interact with eachother makes me smile.  My husband and I are very blessed <3

    • Awesome! It sounds like you are doing a GREAT job! 🙂 Have you posted a picture to our Facebook wall yet? Everyone there really enjoys seeing photos. 🙂

  5. Mknowles3 says

    Love your therapy posts. We always get new ideas to try with our son who seems to be slightly behind Noah, so its always perfect timing!


    • Thanks so much! How old is your son? Have you posted a picture of him on our Facebook wall yet? If not, please do. We really enjoy seeing pictures of everyone’s families. 🙂

  6. Annette32 says

    Awesome! Let me know when he develops a six pack from all those situps, lol.

  7. Renae Williams says

    I love watching Noah’s videos!!! they give great info and he is just soooooooooo adoreable!!! 🙂

  8. Colton has recently learned how to grab a ball when rolled to him. He even tries to kick it back. This is one of his favorite games along with crinkling paper.

  9. I realize that this is an old post, but I found it while searching for this specific topic. Our son with DS is 15 months old, and shows no interest in peekaboo. In fact, nothing about his affect indicates he is aware we are doing anything out of the ordinary. His developmental therapist is unconcerned…but I certainly am. Have you seen any information regarding whether this behavior, particularly at this age, is uncommon or cause for concern?

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