Find the Mouse is one of my son’s favorite games. He thinks that his mice and the game that he plays with them are so much fun that it is hard for him to share the mice with his friends when they come and play. One of the best parts of this game is the unexpected element. Anyone involved in playing needs to pay attention for when a mouse goes missing.
Tell your own story to go with the game. Here is one that we came up with:
Once there was a little mouse who had a very big family.
He had many brothers and sisters and it seemed like one of them was always doing something spectacular. One sister could play songs on the piano that sounded like birds singing. Another sister could solve any math problem she saw. There was a brother that could win any race and yet another brother who could paint pictures that looked real. Everyone would always talk about how spectacular the mouse children were and
Little Mouse felt jealous. He would jump up and down and yell, “Pay attention to me! Pay attention to me!”
His mother would pat him on the head and tell him to calm down but that only made him sad. So one day he ran away and hid. Soon he heard many voices calling, “Little Mouse! Little Mouse where are you?”
Then he felt happy and satisfied inside until his mother finally found him, tears streaming down her cheeks.
“Why are you crying,” he asked.
“Because you scared me,” she said,
“My life would not be spectacular without you! Why did you run away?”
Little Mouse told his mother how he had been feeling and how he wanted to be spectacular, too.
The mouse mother put her arms around him and said, “We are all special inside. Sometimes we do things that look spectacular on the outside but it is truly what is on the inside, the things that others do not always see so clearly, that make us truly spectacular.”
After that, Little Mouse did not run away again but he did become a spectacular hider
and he had great fun leading the game of Hide and Seek with all of his family.
Target Skills for Find the Mouse Hide and Seek:
Materials for Find the Mouse Hide and Seek:
Any well-known object
Instructionsfor Find the Mouse Hide and Seek:
My son and I have this ongoing game where we take turns hiding a stuffed mouse. I started the game by hiding the mouse in his bookcase, a few days later when he found it he hid it for me to find. In turn, I hid it again and so on and so forth. It has become an exciting daily tradition to find and hide the mouse.
Extending the game:
To work on problem-solving hide the object well and then give the child clues about its
To work on directionality direct the child to the hidden location by giving direction clues:
walk 2 steps to your left, turn right take 5 steps forward, etc.
To work on joint attention tell the child that you will look directly at the object and that
they need to follow where your eyes are looking to find the object.
Another variation would be to have your child check your face to see if they are going in the correct direction; smile means correct, frown means wrong way!
Another variation for visual scanning and visual memory would be to take a group of similar objects such as a mouse family or a set of trains. Hide only one of those objects and then ask the child to guess which one is missing and then have the child find the missing object.
Mosswood Connections is the creation of a couple of play therapists who happen to be parents. We are sharing the many strategies and activities that we have created or used to enhance the development of all children, particularly those with special needs.