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Slice of Life 17: Hide and Seek at Ikea – It’s a Thing

By Janice Ewing

You never know what you’ll hear on NPR. In this case it was BBC news, on NPR. Anyway, between pieces about the tragic flooding in Malawi and the closely-watched election in Israel, came an interview with a thirty year old Belgian woman who had organized a huge game of hide-and-seek for adults at her local Ikea store. Her age is relevant to the story, because when the interviewer asked what had possessed her to want to do this, she explained that, at age twenty-nine, she had had a sense of “getting old” and had created a list of “thirty things to do before the age of thirty.” Somehow, adult hide-and-seek at Ikea, which has taken place before in various locations around the world, made the list. Apparently, the specific store in question got wind of the plan and approved it, but Ikea is not longer sanctioning the games within their stores (preplanned or not) for obvious safety and legal reasons. In the spirit of research, I googled ‘hide-and-seek at Ikea” and found numerous articles about the phenomenon, mainly focusing on Ikea’s current firm stance against it. Oh, well.

I thought about why this story was so intriguing. Yes, it was a refreshing break between accounts of human suffering and political tension, but there was something else. I think it was the idea of completely re-envisioning a space, from an assortment of material goods for sale to an exciting and creative place to play. Children do this all the time. Maybe we don’t have to hide inside of a Swedish cabinet to rediscover a sense of fun in our surroundings. I’m wondering what I might look at through a different lens today.


* This “Slice of Life” post is part of a larger blog series, hosted by the blog site, Two Writing Teachers: A Meeting Place for a World of Reflective Writers.

???????????Janice Ewing is an adjunct for Cabrini College and a co-director for the Pennsylvania Writing & Literature Project. Janice co-facilitates PAWLP’s “Continuity Days” and this blog. She is an avid reader and writer, and especially enjoys writing poems.

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. How refreshing to see adults play. We don’t do enough of it. 🙂


    March 17, 2015
  2. Sonja #

    really fun idea—perhaps I should think of 45 before 45!


    March 17, 2015
    • janiceewing #

      Sounds great!


      March 17, 2015
  3. Rita Sorrentino #

    Janice, your slice today is making me think of how important play is for kids, any how unfortunate it is that not too many experience time and space to imagine and explore. Playtime is informal learning and well worth the time. Even for adults.


    March 17, 2015
  4. maryannreilly #

    Such a quirky thing to do. Id love to know what was on her list of 3 before 30 in addition to the hide and seek at IKEA.


    March 17, 2015
  5. rosecappelli #

    Sounds like fun! Re-envisioning is important at every stage of life I think.


    March 17, 2015
  6. Samantha Marquardt #

    I love the idea of making a list of 30 things to do before 30. It is wonderful to set goals that force us to push ourselves a bit (or a lot) past our comfort zone.


    March 17, 2015

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