Helping Your Preschooler Play with Others

April 29, 2010

Playing with others teaches your preschooler how to get along with friends, as well as learn about herself and the world around her.  But getting preschoolers to share and play cooperatively can be rather tricky.

Your child’s personality will play a large part of how she gets along with others.   A reasonably active, outgoing, cheerful child may have a fairly easy time, while a child with excessive energy and strong impulses may have negative early experiences.   A more cautious child may spend lots of time watching, before joining in.  

Learning to play cooperatively isn’t always easy.  The struggle to get your child to share a toy or take turns is all part of her figuring out 1) what is and isn’t acceptable and 2) how to balance being a part of the group, while still getting her own needs met.

What Parents and Caregivers can do:

  1. Begin with short play times, with just one other child. Gradually, you can increase the play time as your child and her friends can handle it.
  2. Set up cooperative play activities that give each child a specific role to play.