Here we are again with another type of play for children. Parallel play is typically the next stage of play after onlooker play. You will often find your child playing NEXT TO another child, but not necessarily WITH them. This is important as it shows that the child is comfortable being around someone outside of their own family. Connecting with others takes time and will come in stages, parallel play shows that your child is getting ready to connect and interact with other children. They are allowing other children into their space. However, this is also during the “mine” phase, where children haven’t completely grasped the sharing concept. No need to worry, that will come with time and connection.
Allow your child to explore this phase with toys that are durable and easy to use. This phase is the last step before your child actually makes that connection in play with other children. They are testing the waters and feeling out their surroundings, with a sense of security in mind. Enjoy this stage, their independence is also being tested, and can allow for a small moment of peace for you. However, they will want to see you nearby for the feeling they are in a safe space.