Parallel play is one of the of human psychology. , that we are still uncovering new information about. Play is one of the most essential things that form a child’s life, personality, interests and opinions. However, not all children have a happy childhood. Children of wars, or from abused families, for example. Some children live in rural areas, without companionship from siblings or friends. Solitary play helps the growth of kids without friends around them. Imagination is a child’s greatest tool and is used to its full advantage. From blocks to painting, to dolls and puppets, to running around in a back yard or laughing with friends, play extends everywhere.
What is parallel play? Mildred Parten born in 1902, who wrote an article in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, where this was discussed, named the idea of parallel play. Parten also named other types of play such as cooperative, solitary and onlooker. In a “social participation act” with forty preschool children, she compared and contrasted play behaviors. Put simply, as she described it, parallel play is when two children are in a room together, possibly even playing with the same toys-but not interacting. Cooperative play however, is just about the opposite of that. Cooperative play is when children interact. Usually children transfer from parallel play between the ages of two and three years old (Social and Personality Development - William Damon -Secondary source) when a child is still in preschool.
Sometimes parents mistake the growing into cooperative play for the child growing out of parallel play. Some children that grow into cooperative play do so later than others. Interference from a parent or teacher can influence this and can prove to be unhealthy. Even though kids grow into coopereative play, no matter what their stage is they still engage in parallel play as well.
Parten had identified the concept of parallel play to understand social development of people better. After she completed her doctoral course in 1929 (genealogy.org), she developed the five types of play- parallel, onlooker; solitary, unoccupied, associative and cooperative (Social and Personality Development - William Damon -Secondary source)
. As William Damon states in his book “Social and Personality Development solitary play helps children develop on their own. Without toys, children use their imagination. Without friends, children use their imagination. Imagination is one thing that never dies no matter what, because it fosters a child’s natural curiosity, if not pushing it gently to its limits.
Onlooker behavior occurs when a child does not participate in a game or a movement with the rest of a group. follows. He simply does not feel like participating, though he may be friendly with other children.
Parallel play is mentioned above.
Associative play is full-blown cooperative play. A child will play with his friends, and probably include talking in the activity. If he is- observed, he will show more interest in his friends and/or environment then the toys around him, although hey will still pay some attention to the toys.
Cooperative play begins as mimicry. At this stage, when a child sees something similar to what he has in his possession, he will be interested. Mimicry could be eating the same food, having the same toy, or even imitating body movements.
1. As William Damon states in his book “Social and Personality Development” solitary play helps children develop on their own. Without toys, children use their imagination. Without friends, children use their imagination. Imagination is one thing that never dies no matter what, because it…