Why Children Love Peekaboo

June 20, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. puzzled /ˈpʌzhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngəld/ (adj.) – referring to someone who is confused or unable to understand
Example: The students were puzzled with the experiment’s unexpected result.

2. appeal ˈpil/ (v.) – to be attractive, pleasing, or interesting
Example: Bright colors appeal more to children.

3. goggles /ˈgɒghttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngəls/ (n.) – a protective eyewear
Example: The doctor advised me to use goggles whenever I swim.

4. perception /pərˈsɛphttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngʃən/ (n.) – the ability to see and understand things using one’s senses
Example: Children and adults have different perceptions about the world.

5. remain /rɪˈmeɪn/ (v.) – to continue to exist
Example: His concern for his parents still remains even now that he has his own family.


Read the text below.
Scientists have long been puzzled why peekaboo is so popular among many children across different cultures. A recent study suggests that this game appeals to many children because it makes them think they are invisible.

Some babies who play this game feel confused and become upset when an object they see is suddenly hidden from sight. According to scientists, this is related to Jean Piaget’s [zhan pee-uh-ZHEY, py-ah-] concept of object permanence – the ability to understand that an object still exists even though the child cannot see or hear it.

Lead researcher James Russell of the University of Cambridge says that children believe people cannot see them while playing peekaboo.

To prove this claim, they conducted a study that involved three and four-year-old children. The team covered the children’s eyes with masks and asked whether the researchers could see them. Most of the children answered ”no.” They thought that covering their eyes made them invisible.

Afterwards, the team let the children wear mirrored goggles to test their perception of invisibility. The researchers wanted to know if children think they are invisible because they could not see anything at all or because someone could not see their eyes.

Out of 37 children, only seven realized that no one could see their eyes even if they could see others because of the goggles. Six of the seven kids thought they were invisible although they know that their bodies remain visible.

The researchers also said that children think they are invisible when their eyes do not meet other people’s eyes.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Is peekaboo also common in your country?
·         What do you think about the results of the study? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What other tricks or games are common in your country?
·         Do you think playing contributes to a child’s development?

June 20, 2014