Collaborative play for children typically begins at around 2 years of age. That’s when they’re mature enough to take turns with playmates, share playthings, and follow rules.
Playing collaboratively teaches important social skills that help children grow during activity. Unlike competitive play that involves winners and losers, everybody wins in collaborative play. In collaborative play, children solve a problem by working together to reach a common goal.
“Play is an extremely important part of development,” says Puja Patel, Head of School at Triangle Montessori Academy (TMA). “It develops the skills children need to advance their emotional, social, physical, and cognitive abilities.”
Here are some points when helping a child make the transition into this phase of development:
Sharing: To help teach your child about sharing, use the term “share.” Asking your child to “share” a toy that they’ll never see again will only lead them to assume that when they share a toy, they’ll never get that back either.
Taking Turns: It takes a great deal of control for a young child to be able to give up something they want. Start small by taking turns rolling a ball back and forth, which will help your toddler understand that they will get another chance.
Obeying Rules: A great way to teach toddlers about rules is to not let them win all the time. It may frustrate them, but it’s a good way to introduce the fact that all games have rules and everyone needs to follow them.
Teamwork: Emphasize the advantages of teamwork. Your child might not be old enough to help with household chores, but you can introduce collaborative behavior by picking up toys together.
Triangle Montessori Academy is a Cary preschool emphasizing art, mathematics, practical life, Spanish, yoga, meditation, and music. The private, year-round school was founded in 2008 and accepts children from 18 months old up to six years old. The school is a member of the American Montessori Society and all teachers are AMS-certified. Students at the school are exposed to Montessori-style teaching approaches, including individual learning according to each child’s style and pace, multi-age classrooms that allow children to advance when they are ready, and a nurturing of students’ natural curiosity.
For more information, call 919.463.7770, or visit our Website at www.trianglemontessori.org.