Children go through different stages of play. The most complex stage of play is cooperative play. That’s when children are working together to reach a common goal. This type of play encourages your child to interact with others, express their thoughts, and try out new ideas while interacting with others.
Often, when this occurs, children may encounter different problems. Maybe they didn’t get the outcome they expected. Maybe someone takes a toy they had. Maybe the group plan changes.
During play dates with your child and their friends, you can set up the environment to provide opportunities to engage in cooperative play by having an area where children can take on different roles (play house, doctor,
restaurant, grocery store, etc.). Only have one of each object. Watch the children’s facial expressions and body language to indicate what the child is thinking. If needed, model the language, “I’m playing with it right now.
You can have it when I’m done” or “Here you go.”
For some children, this skill comes naturally. For others, they need an adult to provide the language to use.
~Marena Mitchell, Speech-Language Pathologist
Daily tips, activities, and suggestions on how to naturally embed speech, language, play, fine motor, gross motor, and cognitive skills into your child's day, often using the materials already found in your home environment.
Marena Mitchell is a speech-language pathologist