Last week I wrote down some of my thoughts about independent play and how it took time for my daughter to learn how to play. Play is not just something kids do for fun. It’s actual work. It is how their brains put together new experiences and learn to interact with the world. And while I was trying to push my daughter towards more independent play so that I could have a few minutes alone to work on what I needed, there are also many other benefits you can find from independent play.
- It fosters imagination. It gives them time to explore a whole new world that has yet to be created.
- It aids in problem-solving. When someone else isn’t there helping them solve their problems of blocks not fitting together right or the tower not stacking properly, they start relying on themselves and their own problem-solving skills.
- It boosts confidence! Allowing them the opportunity to utilize their own toys and manipulate them in the way they want can create confidence in themselves that otherwise may not be there if there is someone else present playing with them.
- Independent play can be a great way to prepare them for school. Working independently is a part of anyone’s education, and learning how to do this through play can prove to be more beneficial in the long run.
- It teaches them about alone time. Yes, as a parent you are given a few minutes of alone time to accomplish what you need to, but it’s also teaching your child how to have alone time and use it to recharge or accomplish what they need to.
The next time you feel bad telling your kids to “go play”, you don’t need to! Allowing them independent playtime can be great for many reasons. Keep your eye out over the next few weeks for my post on how you can foster independent play for your own kids that may not do well with playing on their own.