Hide & Seek Rules

By Katherine Brennan

Updated September 22, 2017

The game of Hide and Seek is played in countries throughout the world. The rules are simple for even the youngest child to understand, and although this game is geared towards them, it can be great fun for all ages.


What you'll need for this game is a space that is big enough for all players but offers plenty of places to hide. Two great examples are a large backyard with a lot of trees and shrubbery, or inside designated rooms of a house (i.e., the basement and the den only). This game requires at least two players but can also be more fun with a big group.


Gather the group together and choose one person to be "it." This person is the seeker and must look for everyone else. The rest of the group must hide in the designated area. First, decide and agree upon a spot to be home base. The person who is "it" stands on the home base, covers his eyes and counts to a previously agreed upon number. Usually about 30 seconds will give hiders opportunity to choose a spot and stow away. When through counting, the "it" person says loudly, "Ready or not, here I come!" and runs to find the other players. The hiders must remain very quiet, and the last person to remain hiding without being found is the winner, and chooses the next person to be "it."


There are several variations of this classic game, including Sardines. In this game, "it" hides and, after counting, the rest of the group goes separate ways in order to find him. When one of the players finds "it," instead of calling him out, they hide in the same spot. Soon, there should be several players hiding in the same spot, smashed together like sardines in a can. The player who is last to find everyone winds up in last place.
There is also Hide, Seek and Tag, an active variation of the game that is played almost exactly like the original. However, instead of the players being "out" when the seeker finds them, the hiders can run for the "home base," and "it" must tag them before they reach the safe landmark. Whoever hides the longest and makes it to the base before being tagged is the winner.