During the toddler years, children engage in parallel play. They play beside each other and observe each other but they don’t interact in play. While toddlers may enjoy the company of a companion, they still play on their own rather than side-by-side.
During older toddlerhood, children may begin to interact in play but they will be fiercely protective of their toys. Between ages two and three, children who have lots of experience being around other children may begin to start taking turns, though they may do so tentatively.
Nannies can encourage toddlers in parallel play by putting out several of the same types of toys. Doing so allows the children to focus on their own self-directed play. For example, assortments of balls, blocks, cars, kitchen foods, stuffed animals, dolls and farm animals are all good choices for fostering parallel play.