Oh no! Our favorite red monster is hiding and he wants us to find him. Elmo, hello? Where are you?

Elmo’s World: Hide & Seek, from Identity Games, puts a twist on the classic childhood game. In this version, parents get to play, but instead of seeking out their own hiding spot, their mission is to find a hiding spot for Elmo.

After parents hide Elmo, kids must try to find him. But of course, Elmo can’t keep quiet in his hiding spot (classic Elmo — you’re going to blow your cover!). Children can follow the trail of Elmo’s voice and giggles to scope out his secret spot. Think of an on-land version of Marco Polo, except eyes are to be open at all times.

Not sure where you’d hide Elmo? That’s where the cards come in. The game comes with a set of 24 cards, each depicting a common household item. Think: a backpack, a chair, bananas, a scooter, a tissue box, and more. Parents can use these cards for ideas on where to hide Elmo in the house. Don’t have that item available? No problem, just leave that card out of the game.

While there are many variations of the game (all described in the instruction booklet), one way to play is by picking three cards. For example, let’s pretend you drew the umbrella, the socks, and the couch card. Pick one of those objects near to hide Elmo. Now hand those three cards over to your child and inform him or her that Elmo is near one of those places. This will test your child to see if he or she can identify the object illustrated on the card IRL. It will also see how well your child can follow sounds. As your child looks for Elmo, the animated critter will be giving your kids clues such as “Elmo’s not hiding there.” As your child approaches Elmo, he’ll say “Yay you found Elmo!”

When hiding Elmo, the instruction booklet advises parents to shut Elmo off by using the power switch on the bottom of his feet (we don’t want Elmo to blow his cover too soon). During this time, your child should count to 10 (or whatever time range you decide is fair), with his or her eyes closed. Once Elmo is out of sight, give your child the clue cards to help snoop out his whereabouts. To make the game suitable for multiple players, there can be several rounds implemented, where the goal is to find Elmo before the other players do. Whoever finds Elmo the most, after a set number of rounds, is the deemed hide and seek winner.

Will you be playing hide & seek with Elmo?  He’s pretty fun to search for and the good thing is, he can’t cheat and switch hiding spots during the middle of the game.

Can’t get enough of this furry red pal? Check out more Elmo toys here.