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Any tips for helping a 3½-year-old play with others?
Q: How do I get my 3 ½-year-old to play with other children? When he does play with other kids, he plays well, but it’s not often that he wants to play with anyone—he would rather play by himself. I know I should be happy that he's independent, but is he learning the social skills he would learn from other children?
A: If he plays well with other children, it doesn’t sound as though he has any deficiency in social skills. If he couldn’t get along with other children when he does play with them, it would be another matter. Some children are, as you said, more independent and prefer to play alone much of the time. Give him plenty of opportunities to play occasionally with other children without making too big a deal of it. If possible, make arrangements in your neighborhood, family, church group, etc. for him to make a close friend of only one or two other children. Having such a friend may encourage him to reach out more readily and include other children in his play.