13 - 15 Months

The enveloping schema: what’s behind your toddler’s fascination in hiding things

Does your toddler love hiding under a blanket or stuffing little toys between the couch cushions? Covering up and hiding objects is a type of schema play known as “enveloping.” 

Toddlers are often fascinated by what they can and can’t see. What does something look like when it’s covered? How much material does it take to completely hide something? Why do some things change shape when draped over others? When something disappears, how can you get it back?

Unlike the “enclosing” schema, enveloping involves hiding objects completely from view. 

5 enveloping schema activities for your toddler

  1. Play toddler hide-and-seek. For example, drape the Bright & Light Play Scarf over your head. When your toddler figures out how to pull it off, say, “You found me!” Then, cover your toddler up and “find” them ❤️
  2. Provide posting toys, like the Wooden Coin Bank, where objects disappear inside. Remove the base of the Coin Bank so your toddler can lift it up and find the coins that they dropped in. 
  3. Give them objects to unwrap. Loosely wrap books, blocks, and other familiar items (skip the tape) with scratch paper or blankets. This is also a great way to use old tissue paper that may otherwise go to waste. 
  4. Hide small toys in a laundry basket under some clothes or tissue paper. 
  5. Create a sensory bin. Fill a bin with sand or dried lentils and place it on a drop cloth or outside. Add small objects, like shells and rocks, for your toddler to cover and uncover. 


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Posted in: 13 - 15 Months, 16 - 18 Months, 19 - 21 Months, Cognitive Skills, Play to Learn, Sensory Play, Cognitive Development, Indoor Play, Schema Play, Child Development

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