Why does my child like to cover, camouflage and hide? The enveloping schema explained

Does your child loves dressing-up in layer upon layer of clothing? Or do they completely cover their hands in paint? Put their belongings in boxes and blankets? If any of this sounds familiar, then your child is likely to be exploring their enveloping schema. Children with enveloping schemas are interested in covering over, camouflaging, hiding and concealing themselves and objects.

A child with an enveloping schema is trying to make connections in their learning; they’re experimenting and finding out the answers to some important questions. In a similar way to a transporting schema, in that it’s all about exploring the permanence and continuity of objects by seeing what happens when they wrap or hide something.

They may be asking themselves; can I still see it? Can I feel it? What happens to it if I wrap it in translucent fabric? Or paper? Will it change if it’s in a box? And will it still be there when I open or unwrap it?

An enveloping child will be in their element if you provide them with any of these:

  • Posting toys
  • Russian dolls
  • Nesting toys
  • Shape sorters
  • Material and blankets to wrap up dolls and action figures
  • Bandages to play doctors and nurses with
  • Sock and glove puppet kits
  • Paper, newspaper, string, Sellotape and ribbons for wrapping

Christmas wrapping gets a whole lot easier with your enveloper around – ask them to join in!