How to Teach Your Kids to Play by Themselves

independent play for kids

As soon as your little kid grows up to a certain age, there always comes a question how to teach your young one to play alone. If we probe deeper into this issue, then we’ll figure that play alone games will not only create a spare minute for their parents but also become a groundwork for children’s development.

Sooner or later there comes a time when your child needs to start playing by himself. And the parents’ task here is to help your baby make this game exciting and interesting. Though, don’t forget about organizing fun indoor games for kids.

Independence Is Important

From the very childhood, your kid is used to learn and comprehend the world through games. Your baby does a lot of actions through the playing process: he is moving, manipulating objects and learning what exactly to do with them.

Respectively, these actions develop the child’s motor skills that lead to enhancement of their brain activity. In fact, this is not the only thing your child can develop through the process of playing. It also enhances speech skills as well as develops thinking, imagination, attentiveness, wit and memory.

By playing, many children easily learn the alphabet, numbers, colors and geometric shapes. And of course, playing games leads to many positive emotions and pleasure.

Did you know that by watching your child playing games, you could analyze your own behavior? This is true because the child tends to imitate adults and “behave” like his mother or dad in the game. Yes, the toddler can already develop certain standards of behavior from his parents.

Learning to Play By Yourself

silent games for kids

So, how can we help our little one to play independently? Certainly, if your infant hasn’t yet reached his first birthday, there is nothing we can expect from him. Most likely, your baby would feel more confident with you playing by him or right when he is your hands – the latter is even better. At such stage of his age, you need to maximize the giving love and warmth that comes from you to your child.

However, starting from the age of one and a half years old or more, children’s independent activity will make more sense. It will even make more sense for children between 1-1,5 years old – you just have to be careful about what toys and games your kid will be playing with.

The thing is that most of the babies still cannot play well with useful toys like cubes and cars. They prefer cognizing objects and their characteristics.

Moms of such babies often mention their kids have no interest in toys at all and everything they are interested in is things taken out of the mom’s hands, like cookers, lids, pots. In fact, it’s wonderful! You can simply put the baby next to you on the carpet and give him several items from kitchen utensils to explore while cooking dinner. Or you just will have time to make your husband happy🙂

Ideas of Useful Toys for Free

teach kids play independently

I used to give my son a few pans and spoons. It turned out to be a whole drum studio in the kitchen! But I got used to it eventually, as nothing is more important than my kid’s screams from delight. My advice, though: don’t involve your dad in this concert – save at least HIS ears! =)

One of our other favourite toys was a small plastic bottle with multicoloured beads. Thank God, there was a little less noise from it than from our handmade drums. Also, you can fill half a bottle with water and put foil shaped in different forms and sizes in there. It’s an interesting thing for a kid to manipulate such an unusual toy.

Prepare a magic box or a bag for the baby. You can store a whole bunch of different things in there, like bottle caps, small balls, foil etc. Just give one to your kid when you are too busy to play with him. Kids will be very interested in studying each of his “jewels” from the magic box, I can assure you. Moreover, this magic box can be a great idea for a personalized gift for your kid of there will be there name or photo on it.

The other idea is trying to get your child involved in household chores from the very childhood. Believe me: if grown-up kids usually hate cleaning, washing and cooking, the little ones love it! Herewith, the child will get used to executing his household duties as he grows up. But for now, it doesn’t mean that you will complete your work faster with a kid helping alongside.

For instance, the time for cleaning my floor with Bogdan triples compared to when I do everything on my own. But I am ready to face this little drawback because cleaning with my son is a lot of fun for both of us.

Two more lifehacks:

learning to play independently

  1. A bit-opened closet can give you at least a half an hour of free time. Works perfectly for every child;
  2. Children play with the new toys or long-forgotten old ones with more pleasure. And you don’t have to buy new ones each time – just look for old toys you might have put away already.

If you follow the recommendations above, your baby will definitely learn to play by himself. But don’t forget about the perks of playing games with parents. Joint games strengthen mutual child-parent understanding.

Don’t leave the child alone for a really long time, ask questions about his game from time to time and give the advice to make this game even more interesting and exciting. And don’t forget to praise the baby!

Have enough patience. Each child is individual with his unique character, tastes, and characteristics. Thus, to find out for sure how to teach a child to play independently, you have to do many tries, experiment with things, use your imagination and value your kid’s wishes and interests.

Perhaps, you won’t be successful in teaching your child to bear interest for independent activity from the very first time. However, staying calm and persevering can help you succeed!

Wish you a great luck!

Yours, Irene



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