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Are You Being a Monkey?

children playing on monkey bars

About this video

Children develop friendships with peers during the preschool years. These friendships are important for their development because children learn to express ideas and emotions in these relationships.

In this video, we see the beginning stages of a friendship connection as we watch 3-year-old Aaron try to engage his peer, John, age 5. Children begin by observing each other and playing side by side. In time, friendships become more complex. Younger children are often very interested in the activities of older children.

As Aaron observes John, who is showing his ability to climb and jump, Aaron comments on John’s actions. He then tries to imitate John’s swinging. Talking and imitating are Aaron’s efforts at engaging with his friend. Outdoor play is an opportunity for children to engage with one another and find common interests.



Aaron: Are you being a monkey?

Aaron: Uh.

Benchmarks and How They Were Met

BenchmarksHow They Were Met
Physical Development and Health
19.A.ECa: Engage in active play using gross- and fine-motor skills.
19.A.ECb: Move with balance and control in a range of physical activities.
19.A.ECc: Use strength and control to accomplish tasks.
We see 5-year-old John using his gross motor skills to complete a task. He jumps up to grab a tree branch, swings his body, and then gracefully jumps back down to the ground. He shows his gross-motor skills by balancing and his strength by hanging from the branch. He also demonstrates hand-eye coordination by successfully grabbing the branch.
Social/Emotional Development
31.A.ECe: Develop positive relationships with peers.
Aaron watches as his peer hangs on the tree branch. Then Aaron walks over to the boy and engages him by asking a question about what he is doing. Aaron then attempts to imitate his peer’s actions by trying to reach the tree branch. In this interaction, Aaron tries to engage his peer in a positive interaction.

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Home
  • Family Child Care
  • Child Care Center
  • Preschool Program

Intended audience(s):
  • Parents / Family
  • Teachers / Service providers
  • Faculty / Trainer

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards:
Reviewed: 2019