Last week we started talking about play stages. This week we’ll talk about a very important stage: Parallel Play.
Many caregivers try to make children play with each other, thinking that when children are together they have to interact with each other. But, not interacting is what parallel play is all about; that’s how they are supposed to play.
Parallel play involves two or more children in the same room. They are interested in the same toys and both see the toy as belonging to them, but they do not play together. They are playing and observing other children playing around each other simply because they are in the same area.
Other important things that happen during this stage is that they begin to use symbols in their play such as a stick becoming a sword. They also start to show some reasoning skills, may still learn by trial and error. They copy adults and other children. Parallel play serves as a bridge to more complex cooperative activities, which we’ll talk about in the next few weeks.
Who does your child enjoy parallel playing with?