Baby Play Dates: What to do?

I’ve been following Janet Lansbury’s RIE blog for some time now and am always happy with the advice and information she posts. Today on her Facebook page, she shared this wonderful video that almost brought me to happy tears. Such simplicity and purity in how infants ‘play’ together when we give them the space they need.  She describes so nicely how to implement RIE philosophy into the way our babies play with one another.

“When allowed opportunities to engage in supervised social experiments like these — encouraged by the gentle and minimal interventions of aware, trusting, open-minded adults — babies explore with and learn from peers, and eventually play together in more typically acceptable ways (by around age 3). Once we’ve learned to trust and respect each child’s process, there are surprising and delightful moments for us to observe as social skills develop.”

Please watch the video on her blog so that you may read the rest of her commentary.

One thing that was brought up, that I believe is such a big issue in play groups, play gyms, and parks, is how we as parents feel about letting our children play as they will without interference. When I’m with a close friend and there is questionable baby play, I feel at ease watching in wonder at how this social ‘experiment’ will turn out. But in public with other children I don’t know, I often wonder at what point I should intervene for the comfort of other parents. Usually it’s a matter of observing the parents more than the children to see where their comfort level is, but sometimes I wonder what would happen if I was brave enough to go ask the other parents to wait…

What do you think of the topic? When would you intervene in public or at home? Or on a play date with another Mom or Dad? And finally, wouldn’t it be GREAT to set up RIE play dates!


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