Could my child become interested in a certain pattern of play because they see their friend doing it?
It’s entirely possible for your little one to become intrigued with an activity their friend is experimenting with. But a pattern of play is just that — a pattern. Usually you should expect to see your little one explore their fascinations in different places, with different resources. And that means both in the presence of their friend and on their own.
And it’s also often likely that children with similar play patterns will play well together. So why not invite a fellow parent to do the Clever Play quiz and compare results? Line up a playdate and have fun experimenting with different play activities and ideas they’d both be interested in exploring.
Remember, children engage in patterns of play because of a natural, internal urge to do so. So, if your little one does start showing patterns in play that their friend is exploring, it’s likely they would have developed this fascination on his or her own eventually.
It might be that they were “almost ready” to explore that pattern on their own, and seeing their friend exploring those questions and ideas brought forward their own exploration. They may have felt that curiosity like a gap in their understanding of the world and wanted to fill it. You might find they explore the pattern in the same ways as their role model, or in their own unique way.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter if their interest in a play pattern was sparked by a friend or not. What’s important is to keep being aware of changes in your child’s play patterns and try to nurture those without judgement and help them fill in gaps in what they know and understand to build their confidence as capable learners.
If you think you’re observing a new play pattern emerge in your little one’s play, you can always return to our Clever Play quiz at any stage to help you identify what those patterns of play might be!