Component 1: Relationships with Others

Learning Goal 1.b: Children engage in positive relationships and interactions with other children.

By 9 months, most children:

  • Babble and smile to show their interest in other children
  • Intently watch other babies and children, especially their faces
  • Track the activity of other children and notice/move toward others when hearing sounds of excitement
  • Reach out to touch other children’s hair, face, etc.

By 18 months, most children:

  • Engage in positive interactions with other children while supervised
  • Imitate and respond to other children’s actions and behaviors
  • Play alone or engage in parallel play (i.e., play next to but not directly involved in another child’s play)
  • Recognize and respond differently to younger children

By 24 months, most children:

  • Demonstrate interest or concern for a peer who is hurt, fallen, or in distress
  • Recognize the idea of possessions (i.e., acting as though they own something) and demonstrate an understanding of “mine” and “not mine”
  • Predominately use parallel play (next to others) while trying out associative play (sharing toys or commenting on the play of others)

By 36 months, most children:

  • Watch and copy other children’s play activities
  • Seek assistance from an adult caregiver in resolving conflicts with other children
  • Understand how to take turns during play with other children, with adult guidance and assistance
  • Participate in associative play with other children (i.e., engaging in separate play activities while occasionally sharing toys or commenting on another child’s play)

By 48 months, most children:

  • Share and take turns using materials
  • Suggest solutions to conflicts, with adult guidance and assistance
  • Initiate play and conversations with other children
  • Participate in pretend play with other children
  • Express how another child or storybook character might feel
  • Notice and show concern for peers’ feelings
  • Comfort peers when they are hurt or upset, with adult guidance and assistance

By 60 months, most children:

  • Make decisions with other children, with adult guidance and assistance
  • Demonstrate consideration for and cooperation with other children
  • Prefer to play with one or two special friends
  • Suggest solutions to conflicts
  • Demonstrate an ability to compromise when working or playing in a group
  • Sustain interactions with friends for increasing periods of time
  • Successfully enter into play when a group of children are already involved
  • Can predict the causes of other children’s emotions (e.g., “she is sad because . . . ”)