Helping children play well together at ABC Day Nursery

Posted 12th June, 2019
Autumnal fun!

Children are just the same as adults in many ways. We do not naturally gravitate towards everyone – we seek out and befriend those people who think like us and share similar values as us.

We would like to think our children will get along with everyone but sometimes that’s just not the case. We encourage little ones to share, get on well with their peers, and allow anyone into their game or circle of play. But that can go against a child’s natural instincts.

When they refuse to share, or exclude someone from their play it is important to help them understand that is not acceptable by talking about how that makes the other person feel. Children need to be taught how to care for other people’s feelings and take them into consideration. The earlier they start hearing these messages the better.  

They need to know that sharing is important but if a child has just waited a long time for their ‘turn’ with something only for another child to snatch something away it can be hard to make sense of it.

In our experience it is important to deliver the same message – be consistent with your approach to helping young ones play together. If you teach them not to snatch and be patient waiting for a turn, it’s also important for them to see you doing the same. A lot of the behaviour we see developing in children is natural and instinctive, the taught behaviour comes from the world around them.

A few key points to bear in mind are:

  • Sharing is a key skill to learn in life, it may take a while but it is a good message to reinforce.
  • Depending on the age of the child they may choose to play alone or in a group. It is good for them to know they have choices, they don’t have to play with anyone they don’t want to but at the same time we want to make sure no child feels excluded from play.
  • Little ones are learning all the time, they copy behaviour they see at home.

If you are worried that your child isn’t adapting well to communal play speak to one of the staff at nursery. We run dedicated group activities to help children adapt to a variety of social situations.