Parallel play teaches the child how to play and behave appropriately when playing alongside, or in close physical proximity to, a peer. Parallel play does not require the child to directly interact with the peer; rather, it can be considered a sort of “middle step” between independent play and interactive play.

Parallel play helps the child begin to tolerate the presence of a peer in his/her play area, as well as skills associated with more than one child playing in the same area: examples include asking for a turn, sharing when requested to do so, visually observing peer’s actions, cleaning up toys when finished.

Use the downloadable PDFs below to get the most from this lesson:

click to download the lesson guide Lesson guide

click to download the Parallel play data sheet Data sheet

click to download the PDF glossary  Glossary