Getting social: managing play dates

Toddlers are beginning to make new friends, but you are still your child’s favourite playmate and it’s important for you to be involved in playtime.

As your child learns how to interact with other children, keep play dates short and be prepared to step in to guide the play, if necessary. They may need some time to develop the social skills necessary for play, or may be shy when meeting new people. This is okay, some people are outgoing, and some are not. Toddlers may play alongside other children at first, rather than with them. This is called parallel play.

Your child may also have imaginary friends. These friends grow out of healthy imaginations and allow your child to practice social skills.

Playdates and playgroups are a great way to allow your child to interact with other children and be an opportunity for you to strengthen your support network. Check out some more information on playgroups here.

Image Babies, toddlers and young children play together as part of a playgroup


Published — 30 August 2016 Last updated — 04 November 2016