Dominate Children in Hide-and-Seek with These Tips from a Navy SEAL

Hide-and-seek is a favorite pastime, a game that has stood the test of time and often conjures up fun memories from childhood. But most kids and parents improve their skills only through trial and error, and the results aren’t always spectacular. Enter Nick Hays, a Navy SEAL who has some elite level tips and tricks to up your hide-and-seek performance.

Hays, a US Navy SEAL who received a Bronze Star during his time in the service, offered some tips for increasing your level of stealth and ability to conceal yourself while playing hide-and-seek. You can keep these secrets to yourself or share them with your children, allowing them to dominate while facing off with their friends.

Preparation is Key

Not every game of hide-and-seek is spontaneous. So, if you or your child know in advance, take the time to prepare yourselves for success.

Camouflage is obviously your friend, especially since many indoor and outdoor play areas feature a mix of textures, patterns, and colors. Choosing attire that helps break up the player’s silhouette and has a color palette that blends with the environment is a great first step to winning a game of hide-and-seek. Normally, long sleeves and pants go a long way in this area, as they conceal more of the body’s shape.

You also want to review the play area to find concealment options that work from multiple angles. This can include large items, like sofas and beds, as well as floor length curtains. For outdoor games, large plants and vehicles may help.

At times, you may want to pre-stage the play area to provide additional options. For example, adding blankets to an indoor space introduces options that still feel natural in the space.

Game Time

Now that the countdown has begun, and the seeker has their eyes closed, it’s game on. You can start by using sound to your advantage. When a person closes their eyes, their hearing automatically becomes sharper, so loudly heading one way before quietly doubling back and have them assuming you went in a direction that you did not.

Staying low to the ground as you move and hide is also beneficial. This decreases the likelihood that you will cast a shadow, which may make you easier to spot.

Learning to manage your breathing is also key, as movement often attracts the eye. Taking slow, deep breaths is the preferred approach, as trying to hold your breath can leave you gasping later or may even lead children to pass out.

Setting up decoys can help, especially if the seeker is familiar with the space. Simply moving certain objects around when the seeker has their eyes closed can make them assume you are in that vicinity. Then, take cover elsewhere.

Finally, instead of staying in place the entire time, move to a new location from time to time. After searching a particular space, the seeker isn’t likely to return quickly. So, stay low, move quietly, and use their reluctance to repeatedly explore an area to your advantage.

h/t Fatherly