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Bar graph: Children by Location Bar graph: Children by Location and Poverty Status Bar graph: Children by Location and Race/Ethnicity/Language

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Playing with Children 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, 28.2 percent of children aged 1-5 years had played with other children every day in the past week, while 54.9 percent of children did so on some days. Fewer than 17 percent of children had not played with another child their own age on any day in the past week. Approximately one-third of children in all locations played with children of the same age every day in the past week.

In all locations, children with lower household incomes were more likely to play with their peers every day. Among children with household incomes below the Federal poverty level (FPL), 39.0 percent (in urban areas) to 43.4 percent (in large rural areas) played with other children of the same age every day, compared to 18.7 percent (in small rural areas) to 28.3 percent (in urban areas) of those with household incomes of 400 percent of the FPL or more.

The percentage of children who play with their peers every day varied by race and ethnicity, although within each racial and ethnic group, this percentage did not vary substantially by location. One exception is Hispanic children whose families primarily speak English; within this group, 36.6 percent of those in urban areas played with other children of the same age every day, compared to 21.4 percent of those in large rural communities.

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