WYP DIY: Imaginary Hide & Seek

WYP DIY: Imaginary Hide & Seek

This is a game of memory, mental mapping, awareness, and navigation!

Age Range:

All ages

Number of Players:

2 or more

Space and Time Requirements: 

This game can be played anywhere. Rounds can be anywhere from 2-10 minutes long


Many animals out in the wild will use their incredible gifts of memory and mental mapping to survive. Scrub jays will collect hundreds, maybe even thousands of acorns; and will bury each one in a different spot in the earth to store for later. They have the incredible ability to remember where most of them are, and will unearth them to eat when food is scarce. Many different species of fish will swim up to hundreds of miles downstream to the ocean to feed, and return to the exact same pool where they were born to find a mate and lay eggs themselves. Without these abilities, scrub jays might have to work a lot harder to find food for their babies, fish might not choose a safe place to lay her eggs, and many animals would have a much more difficult time surviving.


How to Play

The goal of this game is to figure out where your friend is “hiding”, using your memory and awareness skills.


  • Choose one person to be the “hider”
  • Everyone else is a “seeker”
  • The hider gets some time to imagine where they will be hiding. When they are ready, the seekers will get 20 questions total to figure out where the hider is hiding
  • The questions have to be “yes” or “no” questions
  • Before the game begins, everyone has to decide where the imaginary boundaries are. Everyone who is playing should know all of, or at least most of, the places where the hider is allowed to hide. Some examples of imaginary boundaries are:
    • Somewhere around Santa Barbara (or your hometown)
    • Anywhere everyone in the group has been (if you’re playing with family, this could include family vacation spots)
    • Anywhere you would go on a Wilderness Youth Project Program
  • The hiding spot can be as specific or as broad as the hider wants

How does it end?

The game ends when either somebody guesses the hider’s hiding spot, or when 20 questions have been asked and the hider still hasn’t been found!


Game Variations/Challenges

  • You can expand your boundaries to the Multiverse: maybe you want to hide in a storybook’s world? Or a movie’s world? If you play this way, try to make sure that everyone who’s playing knows the world where you are hiding.
  • You can expand your boundaries to different time periods: maybe you want to hide somewhere in Ancient Egypt, or on a pirate ship!
  • You can always change the number of questions allowed to make the game easier/harder, or even allow questions beyond “yes” or “no” questions.

Tips and Strategies

  • When you are a seeker, keep in mind that some questions you ask will be more helpful in narrowing down hiding spots than others. For example:
    • “Are you hiding in the Double-Decker Cave at Lizard’s Mouth?” eliminates one potential hiding spot, but…
    • “Are you hiding in a place with lots of boulders?” eliminates a lot of potential hiding spots
  • When you are a hider, keep in mind that the seekers will be asking lots of questions about where you’re hiding. Make sure you pick a hiding spot that you know pretty well so that you can answer all the questions accurately!

Post-Game Discussion Questions

  • Was it easy or hard to think of spots to hide?
  • As a seeker, what kinds of questions were the most helpful?
  • Next time you go out into the world, pay attention to what you tend to notice the most. Do you notice landmarks? Trees? Animal life? Maybe now you’ll notice good hiding spots!