Supporting Your Child To Play Independently

Why indeed? Consider these scenarios.

  • The baby mouths her rattle happily. Dad coos at her, takes the rattle and shakes it loudly so she can see how it works.
  • The two year old has a new classic toy: spools and a cord to string them on. He piles them into a column, then tries to drop the cord down through the holes. "Like this," says Mom, deftly threading the spools onto the cord.
  • The three year old turns the handle on the jack in the box so that it pops up. "Good job!" says Dad.
  • The four year old is painting, swirling all the colors together. "When you mix them all, everything turns brown and all the pretty colors go away," says Mom.
  • The five year old is constructing a marble run. "Why don`t you make it higher at the start, so it goes for longer?" asks Dad. 

As parents, we love to teach our children. But any educator can tell you that humans learn best when they discover for themselves. And since children learn through play, interrupting our child`s play to teach them not only reduces their curiosity and excitement about learning, it lessens the joy that the child experiences from independent play.

That`s because we`re teaching our children a lesson that we never intended: We`re the experts on play, just as on everything else. We have the good ideas. To play the "right" way, they need us to play with them. We, the adults, are in charge of play. (Ridiculous, right?)

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Kathleen Notes: Kids need to learn how to soothe and occupy themselves as a necessary life skill.



- - Volume: 10 - WEEK: 19 Date: 5/5/2022 11:37:04 AM -