Does your kiddo play independently? It seems like one of the greatest skills for a little one to have. There are ideas all over the internet for how to make it happen. In case it's helpful, here are a few that stood out to me:
- When you’re playing together, let your kid run the show - just follow their lead. You want to put that sparkly unicorn in your Easter basket over and over and over and over? Ok, great, go for it. I’ll just be here quietly watching... not interrupting you.
- Provide open-ended toys in a 100% safe space. Kids get creative with simple toys! If they need some help getting started, when they aren’t looking, set up some toys in a new way for them to find later. Line up their dinosaurs in a circle with some colorful cups in the middle. Set up a train track that leads to some animal figurines in a little zoo made of KAPLA blocks. Just fill a small basket with an unexpected collection of things for them to explore. They will be surprised and intrigued!
- Set limits and be firm about it! Franklin, I’m going to sit at the computer and get some work done while you play on your own. This timer will go off in 20 minutes, then we can go for a walk!
Moral of the story seems to be, provide some simple toys and just let them be! Godspeed and major props to all the parents who are working from home with kids these days.
Ideas via this NYTimes article, parenting guru Janet Lansbury, here, and here. Image via my favorite movie (a great way to kill 1 hr and 28 min).