The first goal of this chapter is to outline the important roles of peer relations in child development. The second goal is to outline how adults can aid in the early development of play relationships between children. We will stress the structuring of the physical environment and the important role of the caregiver. Most of the ideas presented here derive from the recent explosion of research on the growth of early peer relations. A third goal of the chapter is to consider the relevance of this work for children with special needs. Research on the peer relations of normal children and those with special needs will be discussed.