Yes - they fight.
But instead of expecting any different from two infants with underdeveloped and impulsive brains, I’m actively supporting them to learn to play together by joining in.
Here’s some of the things I’m doing to make play work:
1. I’m choosing to play something they’re both into.
2. I’m prompting them to bring their favourite toys into the play.
3. I’m modelling language that they could use in this activity. “Can I have some cake please”. “Do you want some tea?”, “here you go!”
4. I’m not expecting them to interact with each other.
5. I’m responding to each of them at their own level. Etta wants me to receive food items and pretend I’m eating them. August wants me to feed his dinosaurs and talk about which ones are carnivorous and how to tell.
6. I’m gently suggesting that they involve each other. If Etta offers me food I say “ooh are you hungry, August? Would you like some of Etta’s cake?”. I might say “august, give Etta some sushi and see if your t-Rex will eat food out of her hand”. This way they're participating in each others play story.
7. I keep it short and sweet. There's no pressure to be there or play for long, in fact a short time of successful play is better than a longer time if it ends in a bit of a fight or disagreement. When I saw energy spiking we packed this all up and made an obstacle course together!!
Save this post for later and tag a friend who’s kids are fighting!!
Watch the full reel here