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Prioritizing Peer Play

Testimonial: “I resisted Kayla’s advice to get out and socialize for the sake of my child because of my own insecurities. Once I finally decided to be brave and get out there, I was amazed at how my child’s mind seemed to expand with new interests, skills, and language.”

– Anonymous Mother of a Two Year Old

In this video, we looked at how to increase social skills with peer interaction. We explored how play with peers can boost a child’s development, and watched some examples of social play activities that you can do with your child. You may need this lesson for a while, so it’s worth taking your time on this.

Workbook task

Now that you’ve identified exactly what play stage your child is in, you can ask yourself the following questions. These are listed in your workbook. Please take the time to write down the answers to these questions.

  1. Has play time with peers been a priority for your family?
  2. If not, what holds you back?
  3. Do you have control over any of those factors that you see as holding you back?
  4. How can you change those and make this a priority for your family?
  5. When you have been able to schedule play time with peers, how does this interaction go for your child?
  6. How would you like to see the interaction change or improve over time?

Before you move on…

After this lesson, please try out these suggestions: 

  • Think about how much time your child is spending per week around other children. If it’s not 2-3 times a week, aim to increase it.
  • Identify whether your child is meeting their developmental milestones in play with peers.
  • Observe your child during play and notice whether they have an awareness of others.
  • If your child is not yet talking, aim to get them to spend some time with children who are talking, and have slightly higher skills.

Sharing time: Connecting with other families

Sometimes it can be difficult to think of ways to find and connect with other families with young children. Post any ideas you have on the private Facebook group and ask others for their input! 

References

Ledford, J.R. and Wolery, M. (2013). Peer Modeling of Academic and Social Behaviors during Small-Group Direct Instruction. Exceptional Children, [online] 79(4), pp.439–458. Available at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/001440291307900404?journalCode=ecxc ‌