• Iris Windsor

Engaging with Others

Its not always easy to engage with others. This is something that very young children often struggle with in the beginning

Watching toddlers making friends for the first time can be a delight. It’s good for young children to start learning how to play well with other children. This lays the groundwork for the development of good social skills.

When children are very young – aged 1-2 years – they generally play with the other children around them, rather than choosing a ‘best’ friend. Initially, many of their playmates will be the children of people you know – for example, friends, family or parents you meet at playgroup or Early Learning Centre or maybe their own brothers and sisters.

Toddlers vary in how social they are. Some are naturally more sociable and can manage more playmates, whereas others are more comfortable with fewer playmates.

As a child gets older and develops verbal skills, they are likely to start telling you who they like to play with.

Toddlers don’t yet understand the skills they need for friendship, like sharing, taking turns and solving problems.

Toddlers start learning and practising these skills by spending time playing together. Through play, they can be shown how to be a good friend and how to play well with others.

For example, helping a child to learn to take turns by practising turn-taking as they play. Teaching them to take turns to add blocks to a tower or to kick a ball. Prompt the child by saying ‘My turn’ and ‘Your turn’.

Children can be taught sharing also. For example, when playing with play dough, give the child a piece of playdough and say, ‘Let’s share my playdough – some for you ....and some for me’.

Toys like teddies or dolls to help children learn friendship skills. Use the teddies to ask for turns, share toys and look after their teddy friends. Children will watch this fun game and copy what they see – sometimes, at least! When a child takes turns or shares something, give lots of praise to encourage the behaviour

Here we see the children at Dragonfly's Early Learning sitting at a table sharing together It's beautiful to see!!!

To learn more about Dragonfly's Early Learning go to https://www.dragonflys.com.au/contact-us/


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