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Table 6 Modified OSRAC-P categories of social participation and their descriptions

From: Behavioral mapping of children’s physical activities and social behaviors in an indoor preschool facility: methodological challenges in revealing the influence of space in play

Social participation type


Active conversation with peer(s)

Verbal communication with another peer

Active conversation with teacher(s)

Verbal communication with teacher(s)


Non-playful aggressive or violent behavior towards another person or an object (kicking an object out of frustration)

Associative play

A group of children engage in similar or identical activities without formal organization, the child is interested in the group playing but not in coordinating their activities with those people, or when there is no organized activity at all (substantial amount of interaction involved, but the activities are not in sync)

Can’t tell

Unable to observe on video or cannot tell

Cooperative play

The child is interested both in the people playing and in the activity they are doing, activity is organized, and participants have assigned roles (increased self-identification with a group and a group identity may emerge), dramatic play activities with roles like playing school, or a game with rules, such as freeze tag


The child is observing and replicating another’s behavior

Onlooker behaviour

The child watches but does not get involved with an activity, may offer comments or laugh with other children but does not engage in actual activity


Child plays beside, or in the company of, other children but does not play with peers, child plays independently with activities bringing him/her within one meter of other children sometimes (parallel play is coded regardless of the distance between the focal child and the other children if the child is attentive to peers while playing independently), child observed often playing with toys similar to those that the children around him/her are using, child is somewhat aware of, and attentive to, his/her playmates


The child is seen playing alone at a distance from other children, child plays apart from other children at a distance greater than one meter usually with toys different from those other children are using, child is centered on his/her own activity and pays little or no attention to any other child in the area

Unoccupied behaviour

The child does not show focus or intent (e.g. child staring blankly into space, wandering with no specific purpose, or only slightly/not interested in ongoing activities), child is engaged in a functional activity such as twisting hair or fiddling with an object but is not concentrating on the activity