How Toddlers Make Friends

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It is utterly fascinating to watch my child & not just mine, any child really. The way a child sees and approaches life is so different than how we do it as we get older. Today was another great example of this.
After a fun day playing outside with my daughter, we went to an ice cream parlor in town for a little summertime treat. While we waited in line to place our order a little girl a few months younger than Mai approached her. At first Mai was uncharacteristically quiet and standoffish. Her mother came over and introduced herself and collected her daughter. A moment later the little girl whose name was Lily returned. My girl became her usual self and began to talk with Lily.
As she was speaking I noticed her bending her knees slightly and moving into a squat.
“We walk outside and Dukey took a biiiig poop. He poop on the ground” She gestured to her bottom as she continued to squat and tell her story.
Several tables of patrons broke out in laughter as they overheard this exchange.

Lily’s response was to break out in song with an adorable version of ‘Ring around the Rosies’ This was all that it took to strike up a new friendship.

Quickly the two were chasing each other around the tables as my daughter exclaimed “Chase me! You can’t catch me. I gingerbread man!” They chased each other, hid behind the chairs & hugged each other. It was as if they had played together a million times and not just strangers that had just met moments before.

How wonderful it is that children have the ability to do this, to meet someone new without judgment or suspicion and welcome them without hesitation.

How beautiful it would be if we could all approach new relationships like this.

It got several of us tables to joking if only we could all make friends so easily. Perhaps on my next encounter with a new person, I will break into a discussion about my dog’s bowel movements and then offer them a hug. I will let you know how that goes.




  1. Aww, I love seeing my girls too how they form friendships. My younger one this year became very good friends with one of classmates and would talk about her constantly to that point that she and this little girl would set up play dates before her mom and I could even set up the play dates ourselves, because they were just that excited to get together. To be young again 🙂

  2. It truly is fascinating how children form relationships and make friendships. A little ice breaker and bam, all the giggles are free. They look like they had so much fun!

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