Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Social Butterfly

Ollie and cousin Keeley

There is so much literature stressing the importance of  socializing your children, but at what age do kids actually start playing with other kids?? 

Ollie is lucky to have older cousins who live nearby, and when we get together they all play very nicely with Oliver. He, on the other hand, tends to plays around them rather then with them.  Oliver enjoys being part of group play, but he's more interested in watching other kids interact with their toys and each other then actually playing along with them.

According to this Babycenter article, during the first year of life babies generally play by themselves, but enjoy watching and learning from other kids. Between 1-2 years of age they will begin parallel play where they learn to play alongside other kids with minimal interaction. It isn't until 2ish that kids start to truly play and share with others. AMAZING!!  For some reason I thought they would all be playing together as soon as Ollie could crawl.  When I stop to think about it though, it makes perfect sense.  Just as with learning a new skill or sound, Ollie needs to first observe others to learn how to interact with his peers.

Do your kids play with other children? When did they start interacting with their playmates as opposed to just watching?


  1. Interesting, I never really thought about that, either!

  2. Freddie is the same in group situations! Sometimes I don't even think he notices the other babies but just their toys. ha

  3. I've been wondering about this too! Maddox likes to smile and talk to his most frequent playmate (who is a solid year older than him.) They often just sit and stare at one another, taking turns smiling and laughing. I've been calling that "play" but I'm sure it isn't, really. :) Good to know what to expect!