Independent play is a skill you teach when your child is little because they will need it when they are older. It teaches self confidence, how to make choices, initiating activities, problem solving and encourages curiosity.
Ideally, you want to teach your child independent play skills as an infant, however they can be taught at any stage of a child's development. Begin teaching your child to play independently in small chunks of time and increase the time as your child becomes more adept at play. Remember, don't interrupt your child while you are teaching them to play independently. Your nearby presence is all they really want.
- Use these ideas to begin teaching independent play.
- Have your little one play in his highchair, play pen or crib while you do something nearby.
- Play music while your baby plays with his toys.
- Let your child "help" you clean or cook with similar objects you are using.
- Have drawers in the kitchen filled with plastic containers, cups or other safe objects that your child can explore.
- Keep a small number of toys available for your child to play with and rotate them periodically. Buy toys that can be played with in multiple ways.
- Expose him to stimulating environments where there are other children to learn from.