I must admit, I rock at Peek-a-boo.
I don't mean to brag, but if there were a Peek-a-boo Championship somewhere in America, I would win it. You wouldn't be able to see me winning until I revealed myself to you and blew your mind, though, because that's how I roll when I'm peek-a-booing.
Why do kids love peek-a-boo so much? You can entertain a munchkin for endless hours by hiding your face behind your hands and then opening them up, each time exposing a new facial expression. Personally, I like to switch it up and move my head to the left of my hands, then to the right, etc, instead of always appearing at the center of my open hands. Sometimes I'll really make my face disappear, usually to the applause of the women in the room.
I'm like the Houdini of child entertainment. Are you not entertained!?
Peek-a-boo is supposedly tied to the baby's learning of object permanence. According to boring scientists, when a baby's Object Permanence skillz are 0 the baby thinks that your head really disappears when you hide it behind your hands. Then when your face appears, it's like magic! But for babies! Amazing!
It's basically the same concept that applies to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books by Douglas Adams), which believes that if you can't see it then it can't see you.
So now the question is, when I make kids laugh by playing Peek-a-boo, are they smiling because they are genuinely happy to see that my head did not disintegrate before their eyes, or are they just happy to have someone to aim at when they spit up?