Keeping children busy: These ideas encourage independent play

Keeping children busy

Many children can already occupy themselves alone in infancy – if you let them. It is important for you to know: Just let your child do it and don’t always be there immediately if something doesn’t work out. In this article, we will tell you which ideas you can use to encourage your child to play independently.

When can children play alone?

The age at which children can play independently is very individual. Some infants can occupy themselves quite early on five minutes alone with a play bow or the mobile, while other children are still constantly attached to mom’s skirt after 20 months.

Nevertheless, there are some methods you can gradually teach your offspring to play independently. This can take weeks or months, so patience is required – but sometimes a leap in development causes a sudden change in the game.

With these tips your child can occupy himself alone

Children do not need and should not be occupied by adults all the time. Solo playing is important for development and promotes the child’s creativity. Many parents have the impression that their child cannot yet occupy himself alone and has to learn this first. But this is wrong. Because: Evenbabieshave the ability to occupy themselves alone. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the adults also let them do it. You should consider the following points:

  • If you float too much around your child and are always right on the spot, they can unlearn the ability to occupy themselves. Therefore, the top principle is: Give your child enough space and just let it do it.
  • This also applies to situations in which small difficulties occur, such as when the baby cannot reach the rattle or the tower ofbuilding blocks collapses. Let your child try to cope with the situation and the frustration that comes with it on their own. If it really needs urgent help, it will certainly demand it loudly.
  • Even then, you should encourage your child to try it themselves. Tell him, “I know you can do it. Dare and try it out.”
  • Never interrupt your child when they are engrossed in the game! Let it play and discover the world. And in the meantime, you can enjoy the peace and quiet, watch enthusiastically or work through other tasks.

Creating a playful environment

In order for your child to be able to occupy himself, the right conditions must be created. In concrete terms, this means that your child needs an inspiring and exciting environment that wants to be explored. For babies and toddlers, a kitchen cupboard that they are allowed to clear out is often the non plus ultra. More ideas:

  • For older children, stimulatingtoysare important. Tip: Change the toys often. Thus, your child looks at a manageable amount of toys, which is less overwhelming. In addition, it can discover new toys at regular intervals, which in turn encourage new play adventures. In short: Focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to toys.
  • If your child does not want to play alone and is already whining when you move one meter away from him, you should proceed cautiously. Sit with your child, but do not actively play along. So it is close to you, but at the same time can concentrate on your own game.
  • It is helpful if you focus your attention on other things. For example, you can read a newspaper or fold laundry while your child plays.
  • If this works well, you can move away from your child bit by bit. Sit a little further away each time. At some point you can also leave the room for a short time. Tell your child to go for a drink or to the bathroom. However, it is important that you return afterwards as promised.
  • If your child gets anew toy, it is important that you try it out together with your child. Otherwise, this can quickly lead to frustration if your child does not yet know how to deal with the new toys.

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