Collaborative sibling play: forming a cohesive collective while picking mangoes

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    Despite the interest in play and the growing number of studies that address same age peer play, very little is known about sibling play. Even less is known about families with young children who move countries and the types of play children from these families initiate. The familiar social interactions that favour age based peer play in the home country, (play dates with school peers; known neighbours) are not immediately available in the host country. In order to understand the complexity of this issue, Vygotsky’s cultural-historical theory is drawn upon to investigate the social interaction of four siblings recently arrived in Malaysia. In the current study, moving countries provided an opportunity for sustained sibling play while picking mangoes from a tree. Analysis indicated that although the children ranged in age from 3 to 8 years old, they interacted as peers, and worked through complex problem-solving processes. The siblings formed a cohesive collective sustaining and sharing their thinking until their goal was achieved. It is argued that siblings understand complex challenges, and through observing, offering and attempting various solutions, challenging and risky problems can be collectively solved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPeer Play and Development in Early Childhood
    Subtitle of host publicationInternational Research Perspectives
    EditorsAvis Ridgway, Gloria Quinones, Liang Li
    Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Electronic)9783030423315
    ISBN (Print)9783030423308
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Publication series

    NameInternational Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development
    ISSN (Print)2468-8746
    ISSN (Electronic)2468-8754


    • Cohesive collective
    • Collaborative play
    • Problem solving
    • Sibling play
    • Sustained and shared thinking

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