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The Intersubjectivity of Children’s Plays

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Cooperative play, Parallel play, and Associative play are examples of play behavior showing intersubjectivity in children. In the Cooperative play, children work together to accomplish a common goal. They tend to think together and help each other and learn the intention of each other. In parallel play children often play together but using different toys. They share and copy ideas from one another and express their thoughts on the basis of the reaction of one another. Associative play is a behavior whereby children spontaneously show an interest with one another besides their play objects. They regularly exchange intersts in the mid of their activities although they play differently.

Intersubjectivity first begins between the mother and her infant child when both respond to each other using glances and emotions they both understand. Cooperative play children come together to achieve a common task of which they could not accomplish by themselves. They have to depend on one another and create a uniform environment that will facilitate understanding and agreement. Often, they are intersubjective to the skills of achieving a common goal together. Intersubjectivity in a Parallel play is expressed when a younger child tries to imitate an older, another child or playmate. They rely on the reaction or behavior of the other in responding to their activities. This leads to the latter developing or gaining new knowledge, skills, and characteristics similar to the subject and applying them later. Additionally, Parallel play shows imitation or mirroring and leads to child growth and innovation.

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Associates play drives a child to sharing attention. In the Associative play, children measure the extent of attention they are given by their playmates. They can also try to draw attention by participating in activities that will bring more attention to others for them to share their experience. Intersubjectivity is a concept used to relate the behavior of a person and how they respond to the action creating a humorous environment. A play is an activity that engages children’s physical and mental reaction during a specific time. How a child responds will determine their willingness to participate in a play. Intersubjectivity occurs differently; example, gender differences influence the behavior in children’s play. Boys engage in more vigorous and daring activities while girls are involved in social activities. Impaired children or children from impaired parents especially the deaf lack intersubjectivity in their interactions.

Cooperative play requires a high level of intersubjectivity compared to associative and parallel play. SDP is a method that has been used to engage a child’s intersubjectivity in their play by creating an imaginary scenario. SDP defines play as an expression dialogic in nature where partners communicate through non-verbal expressions. Engaging SDP in a play lengthens intersubjectivity in children resulting in more engagement and participation in the play.

A play is an intersubjective activity because it facilitates the building of internal and external realities which affects a child’s psychological organization by increasing robustness and autonomy. Every parent should ensure their children engage in playing either at home or school.

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The Intersubjectivity of Children’s Plays. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 31, 2023, from
“The Intersubjectivity of Children’s Plays.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022,
The Intersubjectivity of Children’s Plays. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 31 May 2023].
The Intersubjectivity of Children’s Plays [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 15 [cited 2023 May 31]. Available from:
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