Associative Play for Kids

August 26, 2021 / Learn About Osmo

Associative play involves more than merely playing side-by-side with other children. In this stage of childhood development, kids might begin to observe and even interact with each other, but they don’t conform to what the other children are doing.

Benefits of associative play include:

  1. Improved ability to cooperate with others
  2. Brain development
  3. Social-emotional readiness
  4. Learning to share, negotiate, and solve problems

Common associative play activities:


When children draw or paint on different canvases, they’re not working together to achieve a common goal, neither is there any interaction, but they still learn to associate with each other because they’re involved in similar activities.

For digital-physical drawing games for kids, check out Osmo’s Super Studio Series.


Dancing is one among the most fun associative play activities for kids at home. Just make sure that it doesn’t get competitive. Allow kids to merely observe each other and interact very little, but still have fun.

Building blocks

Beyond keeping your child engaged, this activity will also build your child’s problem solving skills and hand-eye coordination.

If they’re not in the mood to build blocks, building sandcastles would be a great alternative!

Riding around

When kids ride their bicycles next to each other, they’re actually engaging in associative play. There’s no prior planning or coordination involved.