Togetherness and Awareness: Young Children’s Peer Play

  • Liang LiEmail author
  • Mong-Lin Yu
Part of the International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development book series (CHILD, volume 30)


The research reported here seeks to understand young children’s peer play and how it is important to their everyday learning, development, and quality of life. The research question of this chapter is: how do young children create the social conditions to achieve happiness and playfulness in peer play? The cultural-historical concept of demands and motives forms the foundation of this research project. This chapter uses two video clips to focus on how two young children create the social conditions through their awareness in the play contexts to achieve their togetherness and happiness. It is argued that young children are able to make demands to each other and through the process of interaction, also create new motive orientations to the settings in order to achieve their togetherness in peer play. This builds a foundation for young children to adjust their actions and develop their awareness of others. The findings have implications such as the need for educators and parents to understand that peer play provides a learning opportunity for children to develop flexibility and understanding of self and others.


Demands Motive Peer play Togetherness Awareness 



Special thanks to each of the participates in this research study for their willingness to share their experiences with us, as well as Dr. Avis Ridgway and Dr. Gloria Quiñones for their edits and comments in finalizing this chapter. We also gratefully acknowledge the funding received from Monash University Advancing Women’s Research Success Grant program (2016). Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (Project ID: CF14/2789–2014001543) and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Project ID 2014_002500) granted approval for the project, Studying babies and toddlers: Cultural worlds and transitory relationships.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing, and Health SciencesMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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