Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Creating Friendships
Gracie: I can sit by Shalom?
Morah Katie: Yes, if Shalom says yes.
Shalom: (nods yes with head)
Scout: I want to sit by Gracie.
Gracie: Sit by me.
Friendship building in action.

Social relationships surround the child in all aspects of their lives. Family is the first social group a child joins.
Pre-school provides children with the opportunity to choose their playmates.
These friendships, and opportunities they provide, help the children learn skills for navigating the social world.

Play in itself is a key opportunity to help the child create and sustain positive social interactions, such as learning to share, speaking up for ourselves with kind words and including others.
The development of social play is age related, and as a child grows and is offered social experiences, a particular sequence of play can be observed.
It is important to keep in mind that the following sequence is a guideline, with no set boundaries. The child moves through the stages based on age, temperament and personality. At times, it can appear that a child is in two stages simultaneously.

Unoccupied Play, during which the child watches but stays in his/her spot.

Onlooker play, during which the child will move around to watch the other children and ask questions, but refrains from joining in the play.

Solitary Independent Play occurs when the child engages and is active, but plays on his own.
Gracie and Aaron are both playing with the ball tube. Each taking turns, satisfying their own interest and curiosity.

Parallel Play, during which the child plays independently but is next to other children, often using the same materials or toys.
Aaron, Noah and Gracie are all dressing up.
Gracie went on to build with legos, Aaron went on to saw the blocks and Noah searched out anyone who might be in need of help.
Gracie and Scout are both playing in the sandbox, with separate goals.

Associative play, during which the child will play with other children using the same materials, toys and talks with them, however still acting on his own.
Levi, Ben and Dena are all creating butterflies, discussing how pressing the wings together create the same paint pattern on both wings.

Cooperative Play, the child plays in a group with the specific goal of doing a particular thing.
Noah, Levi, and Tori are playing hide and seek, to remain hidden they need to work together.
Noah, Dena, Kian are riding bikes, Tori isn't interested in riding bikes.
Tori chose to play with the pipes.
A little later on during recess Tori and Kian decide to "ride motorcycles".
The motorcycles drive into a gas station "to fill up and get some soda."
Dena: I want to pump the gas!
Kian: It looks like it needs to be fixed.
Noah: I will fix it!
Dena: Me too!
Kian: Let's fix it!

The children came together to create a pretend scenario they could all be involved in.

Kian: Noah you are my best friend.
Noah: Yeah lets make towers.
Kian: I am making the puzzle.
Noah: I don't want to make the puzzle.
Kian: Ok, let's eat lunch together.
Noah: Ok.

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