What is Parallel play? Meaning, definition, explanation

Parallel play is a stage of play development in young children that can be observed between the ages of 3 and 4. Parallel play represents an intermediate form between individual and pair play in children’s play development.

What is parallel play? Meaning, definition, explanation

Children have a natural need to learn and discover and understand their environment through play. In the development of children there are very different stages of play and correspondingly many forms of play. In play, the child actively engages with its environment and learns from it.

In the course of his development, his living environment expands more and more, so that his play repertoire also increases. The constant encounter with new things opens up further possibilities for action, because they are not yet trapped in behavior patterns and routines, as we adults are.

The Seven Forms of Play:

Sensorimotor play is significant in the first and second years of life. The child explores his own body and takes great pleasure in repeating the movements. In the second year of life, exploration play begins. Now the child explores objects and likes to break them down into their component parts.

From the second year of life, the phase of construction play also begins. The child assembles something and playfully creates something new – for example, with building blocks or plasticine. Around the same time, the child also begins to play as-if. He reinterprets objects. In his imagination, building blocks are then a train, a ship, or something similar.

The fifth phase of play is parallel play, an intermediate form between individual and social play (see above). Around the age of four, they begin to observe their play partner very closely.

At the age of five, the phase of role play begins, which can last for a very long time. Now father-mother-child games, doctor games or school games are topical. Rule play begins with the transition to elementary school and children now play according to fixed rules. The play partners are very careful to make sure that these are followed. Most of the time, these are competitive games such as hide-and-seek or tag, but board games are also in demand. The children compete with their friends, the performance comparison is very important to them.

Game phase 5: Parallel play

In parallel play, two or more children play side by side with the same material without interfering with each other’s play. The children play, but do not interact with their playing partners. Each child conceives of his or her own game.

While it appears that the children are engaged in parallel play independently of each other, in fact they are playfully connected and influence each other. It is striking that they perform identical actions quite deliberately at the same time. They imitate each other. An example: Two children dance with their group in the room. They take turns setting the beat, swapping roles. At the same stage of life, children also often talk to themselves.

Why is parallel play so important?

Early childhood development specialists appeal to parents to encourage parallel play because it is a giant step in children’s social development. Purposeless play is an important component of social development.

Children play out of an inner need to understand their world through play and to place themselves in it. Without adults intervening, they can thus expand their scope of action. Through parallel play, they learn interaction, thus already preparing themselves for social play.

If parallel play is skipped for any reason, this can lead to developmental disorders. If children have not yet found their way from parallel play to social play by the age of three, this could be a sign of a disorder (e.g. autism). Often, however, it is just because they are shy.

Ideally, parents get involved in this important phase of their child’s play, such as providing toys for sorting. At the age of three, the child is quite intuitively handed over to social, interactive forms of play. Nevertheless, it is not advisable to encourage the child to play with a playmate if he or she prefers to play alone.

Autor: Pierre von BedeutungOnline

Hallo, ich bin Autor und Macher von BedeutungOnline. Bei BedeutungOnline dreht sich alles um Worte und Sprache. Denn wie wir sprechen und worüber wir sprechen, formt wie wir die Welt sehen und was uns wichtig ist. Das darzustellen, begeistert mich und deswegen schreibe ich für dich Beiträge über ausgewählte Worte, die in der deutschen Sprache gesprochen werden. Seit 2004 arbeite ich als Journalist. Ich habe Psychologie und Philosophie mit Schwerpunkt Sprache und Bedeutung studiert. Ich arbeite fast täglich an BedeutungOnline und erstelle laufend für dich neue Beiträge. Mehr über BedeutungOnline.de und mich erfährst du hier.

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert