Children watch what other children are doing but make no attempt to enter into the play activity.
There is an active interest in observing the interaction of others but no movement toward participating.
Watching an older sibling bounce a ball is a common example of the onlooker role.
Children play alone with toys different from those used by other children in the same area.
They enjoy the presence of other children but make no effort to get close to or speak to them.
Their interest is centered on their own activity, which they pursue with no reference to the activities of the others.
Children play independently but among other children.
They play with toys similar to those the children around them are using but as each child sees fit, neither influencing nor being influenced by the other children.
Each play beside but not with, other children
Individuals who are involved in a creative craft with each person separately working on an individual project are engaged in parallel play.
Children play together and are engaged in a similar or even identical activity, but there is no organization, division of labor, leadership assignment, or mutual goal.
Children borrow and lend play materials, follow each other with wagons and tricycles, and sometimes attempt to control who may or may not play in the group.
Each child acts according to his or her own wishes; there is no group goal
Two children play with dolls, borrowing articles of sclothing from each other and engaging in similar conversation, but neither directs the other’s actions or establishes rules regarding the limits of the play session
There is a great deal of behavioral contagion: When one child initiates an activity, the entire group follows the example.
Children play in a group with other children
They discuss and plan activities for the purposes of accomplishing an end: to make something, attain a competitive goal, dramatize situations of adult or group life, or play formal games.
The group is loosely formed, but there is a marked sense of belonging or not belonging.
The goal and its attainment require organization of activities, division of labor, and role playing.
The leader-follower relationship is definitely established, and the activity is controlled by one or two members who assign roles and direct the activity of the others.
The activity is organized to allow one child to supplement another’s function to complete the goal.