Offer a gentle hand on the shoulder. Encouraging Independent Play because you don’t have to entertain your kids, and the steps to encourage independent play time. To be able to do what kids should do–play–our children need a simpler environment. This is huge for life! Get your child started. Judy Hanning / Dec 27, 2013. Be strong, be consistent, and model the behavior yourself. Consistency and patience will help with building the habit of independent play. 7 ways to encourage your child to play independently. 4. Get down on the floor and play with your kids! My daughter is 4 years old and wants to play dolls all day long. Here are some tips to help them become more independent. Choose the play area. Switch the toys around—“new toys” are a wonderful incentive for your child to play alone, so have two separate toy boxes and trade them out at the end of a week. So your first step in learning how to encourage your child to play independently and encourage them to just play (off electronics) is to set clear boundaries. I am just not used to this because my boys are 8-year-old twins and have always played with each other. Enjoy her. Introduction Don't you ever wish your child will independently take up a book and self read without you telling them to do so? How to Teach Your Child to Play Independently. In addition to being the perfect technique for a lazy parent, consistent application of the theory might teach your kid to take the ball and run with it – as opposed to taking the ball and asking you what to do with it. I used to find myself rushing my children, packing our schedule full of activities. Your words of encouragement will help them take pride in their "work." “Tell them you’ll be back in 10 minutes to hear all about it. Suggest looking at a book while you read your own book beside your child, or set them up at the table with a colouring book while you go over your bills. Here are my tips to help your child learn to play by themselves. While they are playing, stay close but busy. Invitations to play are another way to encourage your child to play independently, but that don’ t require them to come up with a starting point themselves. As a single parent, you already know that structure is important to your child's sense of well-being and that it's a critical element in effectively managing the activities of a busy household. Compliment your kids when they demonstrate creativity and imagination in their play. Superficially, our life was rich and full, but it was basically a stressful time clutter. It also builds confidence; confidence for failure (to keep trying) and success. If your toy storage is too heavy, too big, or too cumbersome for your child to manage alone, they will inevitably be calling you over for help all the time. Enjoy her. (see design in shop) Treat play as the natural birthright – not a chore or punishment! “Provide play figures that are very enjoyable to your child and ask them to make up a story,” Hollman says. Babies and toddlers love to play on their own, exploring their environment and discovering new ways of play. 2. If you're ready to get him out of the habit of being held and carried all the time and encourage him to play on his own, try this gentle step-by … You can find out more about how to set up and leave these simple play prompts in our other blog, here. Ensure that your child knows that this is NOT a punishment but explain to them all the reasons why it is important. So, when he/she starts playing independently, it'd be with the understanding that sometimes playing with mommy/daddy is fun, and sometimes playing alone is fun too. The transition to playing independently is just that…a transition. A child's ability to play independently depends on his temperament, Dr. Escolar says, and he'll have a harder time if he's hungry, tired, or sick. Independent play is a skill that takes some time for a young child to develop. How to encourage your child to play by themselves Your toddler will actually provide clues that he is ready for unaccompanied free play. First, unstructured play is beneficial to your child's development. Do you struggle to find a balance between spending time with your children versus focusing on your own activities? Do Grandparents Have the Right to Spoil Grandchildren? By using LiveAbout, you accept our, Brain-Boosting Activities for Grandchildren, 9 Strategies for Father to Teach Values at Home, 7 Ways to Parent More Consistently With Your Ex, Healthy Tips to Keep Your Kids from Getting Sick. But they would prefer to play games on the phone 24/7. How To Encourage Your Child To Play Independently; July 12, 2019 Parenting Village By Tracey Hall. Encourage Your Child to Play Alone. This is a skill that some only children do not master, which can in part be due to parents feeling guilty that their child has no built-in playmate. If your child hasn't had much opportunity to play independently, this will be a gradual transition. "Putting your child in a playpen or crib with a few toys while you hang out nearby — or even leave the room — will plant the seeds of self-soothing and focus." Take time to sit and fill your child’s bucket before you expect them to play independently. Give eye contact. Parallel play “To encourage children to be independent and play by themselves, parents need to model that behaviour for them,” Hewes says. We have gathered a few tips on how Try to do this for at least twenty minutes every day. Expert Tips to Help Your Child to Play Independently “Mommy, play with me!”. Your child may vigorously cry, tantrum, or shake for minutes or longer until they have offloaded a chunk of feelings. When playing, the child learns to think for himself. So if your child is begging you to play, go ahead. Relaxed and slower paced. Dear PP, Good for you that you are trying to teach your daughter how to play on her own. This might sound like one more thing to add to your "To Do" list; but, really, teaching your children to play independently can be extremely valuable to you personally. I didn’t realize how lucky I had it with them. How to use daily routine cards and keeping a stash of activities like from the preschool activity bundle (2 – 5 years old) and Camp Mom: Summer Activities Pack (kids 3 – 8 years old) are true lifesavers.. For a child who has never played by himself, start small and increase as the child develops the imagination and confidence needed. Allow plenty of unstructured, unscheduled time for your child. Give your child attention first. Independent play time is such a helpful tool! So if your child is begging you to play, go ahead. Let your child play independently if they’re younger than 2 years old. Yes, you read that correctly. Parents can step away when the child is involved in playing to let them take the activity. “There’s a big benefit in doing similar activities alongside them,” says Hewes. Check out the 11 things I did to encourage my toddler to play independently, without pushing him away. I hear that over and over from my youngest. Second, it helps you create pockets of time to get other things done! , Melbourne Child Psychology & School Psychology Services, Port Melbourne, By continuing to use this website you agree to our privacy policy including use of cookies, Learning Profile Assessment (Educational Assessment), 4 Healthy Habits for Kids to Take Back to School in 2013, Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, Practical Skills to Build Resilience in Children and Teenagers, What Every Parent Should Know About Counselling (For a Child or Teenager), 5 Productive Ways for Parents to Help with School Work, 7 Take-Home Lessons from The World’s Best Schools. I usually try to spend some one-on-one time with my son before I ask him to play independently. Supervise your young child, but allow them to discover new ways of play by themselves and without too … This will affirm to your child that you care and value your time together. but if i try to encourage him he complains. Aim to avoid screen time with tablets and TV to babysit your kids. “When you’re observing your child, you’ll see those moments when he is engaged and doing something on his … Model how to play. LiveAbout uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. If your child hasn't had much opportunity to play independently, this will be a gradual transition. Just image having 20 + minutes at least once a day where your child happily entertains themselves and you can finish a pressing job or feed the new … Keep your attention warm as you listen to your child offload all the hurt, anger, and fear that they have stored up. This might mean sitting and reading a book together. 1. How to start independent playtime: 1. Take a look at these simple strategies for encouraging unstructured free play: Jennifer Wolf is a PCI Certified Parent Coach and a strong advocate for single moms and dads. I “fill up his tank” so to speak and then he’s content to occupy himself. Start small. Encourage your kids to choose creative play, arts and crafts and brain-building activities to fill their solo playtimes. Set a timer or show your child the clock so they know when they are allowed to stop playing by themselves and to come and show you what they have done (although they are free to keep playing if they prefer!) 3. I want to begin encouraging my 4.5 yr old boy to play more independently cuz as it is right now it rarely works unless spontaneously from his own will, he gets into a zone and enjoys his own play for 5 minutes to 20 minutes. Store toys within your kids' reach. Before You Receive Child Support Payments: What You Need to Know, How to Help Your Child Stop Thumb Sucking, Single Parenting Tips for Newly Single Moms & Dads, Connect With Your Kids in Just 15 Minutes a Day, How to Help Your Grandchildren Handle Stress, Gift-Giving Mistakes that Grandparents Must Avoid, Your Top Reasons Why You're a Stay at Home Parent. If your child has been playing independently since babyhood, you didn't need this post. 4. This helps children feel safe and connected—if you’re nearby, they don’t have to break their play to come and seek you out—without you distracting them. How Can Parents Motivate Them to Read books alone? If your child is used to having a friend, sibling, or parent to play with 24/7, breaking that dependence will take some time and effort. Make sure your child “owns” his play space so that he can navigate it with mastery, without help. Other times, ‘talk your child’ through games from a distance, participating while doing your own work, and let your participation get less and less as he gets more into it. If your child isn’t used to playing independently, I suggest starting in short chunks of time. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics, in a clinical report titled The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds, reminds parents that regular opportunities for unstructured play are also vital to your child's healthy development. Guide about Encourage your Child to Read Independently without any help. 3. For newborns, the play area could just be a blanket or a play mat on the other side of the room. Have designated screen time each day as well as 1 weekend day that is mostly screen-free. Set a clock. It is very good for children to play with others for them to be able to experience cooperation and sharing, but it is equally important to encourage independency as well. If you haven’t been setting limits, you’ll likely get a lot of pushback. If you want your child to become an independent thinker down the road, provide plenty of open-ended items for him to play with now, Dr. Troseth recommends. 4. Then, try all of the tips above, and keep delighting in your child's emerging play mastery. How To Encourage Your Child To Play Independently. Praise your kids for playing independently. Susan Magsamen, founder and CEO of Curiosityville, suggests resisting the urge to swoop in, and, instead, letting your child figure out a solution to his own frustrations as he plays independently. If your child always wants you to help them play, this is for you. Plus, it doesn't allow your little bruiser to flex his own muscle and develop important skills like sitting, crawling and cruising. These tips helped me through a super rough patch with my son, where he wasn’t interested in anything but being held, or watching me play with his toys for him. Maybe you’ll do some baking or choose a sensory play activity from my book to enjoy together.
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