At this stage, children begin to slowly move toward interacting with other children more directly. During parallel play, they will play in roughly the same area, side by side, without directly engaging with each other. While they won’t necessarily interact, they are aware of the other children and will often engage in similar behavior and play with similar toys. Despite the lack of direct engagement, the children are learning from one another, developing social cues and other valuable skills through observing and paying attention to what the other is doing. This stage usually occurs between 2 ½ and 3 ½ years of age, though it can occur in any age range.