Observe the child while engaging in dramatic play with other children. Make sure there are duplicates of most of the props.
No elicitation may be needed, but if the children do not spontaneously interact, the adult can comment. Bring the peer into the child’s awareness. “Oh, look what Ana is doing.” Offer suggestions if the child does not spontaneously bring others into the play. For instance, say, “Ana doesn’t have any food yet.” Make an observation rather than a command to see how the child responds.
The child will make an attempt to include everyone in the play as long as the children don’t want the same items. Shy children may need more encouragement to involve others.
Play dates are important. Help parents understand how joint play builds children’s social skills and expands their understanding of other people’s needs and desires. Having play dates prepares children for their later school experiences. Children do not have to be exactly the same age. Cousins, neighbors, and friends are all good.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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