Last week baby boy and I met up with a group of local moms that are also business owners. We met at a local park, allowing my boy to play outside a bit (something we need to do more often), and giving him a chance to play with other kids. Three of the other kids were around the same age as my baby boy – two were 18-months-old and another the same age as my son, 22-months old. It worked out perfectly and allowed me to observe toddlers at play with each other!
Of course, with toddlers come challenges like learning to share and playing well together. But, there’s also a lot of fun in watching toddlers play. For example, you get to see how toddlers “talk” with each other and the beginnings of socialization. It’s very entertaining to see your toddler go up to another toddler, point to his shirt and say, “Look, a robot!” I found this to be more of a rare occurrence than a common one, since toddlers at this stage usually play near or next to each other more than with each other.
That said, I’ve noticed that toddlers gravitate to each other. When one or two get together, the rest join the group. It’s pretty funny to suddenly see a large gathering of toddlers that aren’t necessarily playing with one another, but are definitely wanting to be together in the same space.
While at the park that day I realized that I need to plan more play dates for my baby boy so he can get those opportunities to interact with other children and practice his social skills. Even though he socializes at home with his big sister and they constantly play together, it’s just not quite the same as doing so with kids his own age.
What have you noticed from watching your baby or toddler play with other children?