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Playing with Children of the Same Age

Children learn and develop social skills and behaviors through interactions with other children their own age. Parents of 1- to 5-year-olds were asked to report on how many days in the past week their child played with other children their own age. In all, 31.4 percent of children aged 1-5 years had played with other children every day in the past week, while 32.2 percent of children did so on 4-6 days, 27.1 percent played with other children on 1-3 days, and 9.3 percent of children had not played with another child their own age on any day in the past week.

The frequency with which children played with others their own age varied by age and family income. Children aged 3-5 years were more likely than those aged 1-2 years to have played with others (35.3 versus 25.3 percent, respectively).

Children with lower household incomes were also more likely than those with higher incomes to have played with other children every day. Among children with household incomes below the Federal poverty level (FPL), 39.6 percent of 1- to 5-year-olds played with others their own age every day, while 34.2 percent of those with household incomes between 100 and 199 percent of FPL did so. Approximately 27 percent of 1- to 5-year-olds with household incomes of 200 percent or more of FPL played with others their own age every day in the past week.


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