A commonly asked question I get is: How do you get your kids to play on their own?
I’ve learned that how I set up my house greatly influences my kid’s ability to play on their own.
1. I have found that cutting TV watching to a bare minimum, best if NONE, leads to so much more self-starting, creative play for my kid’s.
2. Set it up, and give a couple minutes. I put these trains in a little line and helped Patrick make a track and then walked away. He played for a good hour.
3. The fewer toys, and the more organized, the better chance at making it work. Huge amounts of toys are overwhelming. You know how you feel when you look at 500 choices of fabric, or icecream, or shoes? Sometimes it’s easier to walk away. They feel the same.
4. Bait and switch. Rotate toys maybe once a week or every other week. Even ONE “new” building set will fascinate for hours. If I had Duplos out, I put away the Lincoln Logs.
5. Be in the same room. Or not. Depending on the age and your child. Sometimes it’s best for me to be out of sight. Other times if I just sit in the room I find my 2 year old content as long as he knows I’m nearby.
6. Get a “project” started with siblings involved. I know Patrick LOVES to play along side Andrew or Matthew.