When it comes to toddlers, nature usually wins over nurture. How so? Some children are born a little clinger than others, whereas some children are rambunctious and fiercely independent. Whatever the case may be for your own cutie, there are significant benefits to allowing your kiddo to play independently.
Sure, you can start out with half-an-hour, but encourage those 30-minute intervals to become several hours of independent playtime throughout the day. Why? Because independence is something your children need and there’s no better time to allow them teach themselves how to fight through being bored.
Independent Play Encourages an Active, Engaged Imagination
When your child plays independently, they have to rely on themselves to come up with something fun and engaging to play. Giving them a room full of wooden toys, puzzles, and books, or simply sending them outside to the fenced-in backyard, encourages them to engage their active imaginations.
Tip: You could even encourage active imagination with an indoor infant toddler swing. They’re supervised, of course, but they can bounce and play without relying on you for entertainment.
Independent Play Teaches Children How to Combat Boredom on Their Own
This is the era of instant gratification. Everything is literally at your fingertips at all times, but boredom can be a great learning tool. When children are faced with boredom, they come up with new and interesting ways to pass the time.
Note: Independent play encourages children to find hobbies, passions, and things that interest them. For example—you could provide crafty things, like paints and glitter. Let your youngster have the run of craft tables. This is where their imaginations thrive.
Independent Play Eliminates Heavy Reliance on Others, like Parents, for Constant Entertainment
While attachment parenting can be an awesome tool in its own right, children shouldn’t need their parents, or anyone else, for constant entertainment. Independent play shows them that they can have fun and do things for themselves, regardless of who is around.
Tip: If your kiddo is constantly underfoot or scared of playing alone, set a timer for 15 minutes and tell them that their task is to play independently until the timer goes off. It might take a few tries over the course of weeks, but kids usually discover how much they love simply using their imaginations to play by themselves.
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