The summer months are a great time to connect with your kids and enjoy time together. But sometimes, you need a break from entertaining them every second of the day! Solo play is a great way for your kids to entertain themselves, allowing you a little bit of alone time during the day. And teaching your kids to play alone isn’t just a way to save your sanity this summer. Solo play also has many amazing benefits to your kids, from teaching them independence to helping build their creativity. So, the next time your kids ask you to play with them, consider using one of these easy ways to encourage solo play instead.Open Ended Toys
Instead of setting your child down with a battery-operated toy for independent playtime, consider offering them more open-ended options. Toys like blocks, play kitchens, or even household items like spoons and bowls can provide more entertainment to kids who are playing alone because these toys allow them to fully use their imagination as they play.
Give Them Space
While it may be hard to leave your young kids alone as they play, giving them space to use their imagination is the best way to make them love playing alone. So, make sure your kids are safe where they’re playing, then leave them alone to make their own play choices.
Cut Back on Screen Time
It may be easy to increase the amount of time your kids spend on their screens during the summer months since they’re home more often. But cutting back on screen time can actually make solo play more appealing to your kids because reducing screen time also reduces the amount of sensory overload that often comes with technology use.
Find Ways to Connect
Each time your kids ask you to play with them, they’re seeking a connection. As you transition your kids into independent play time during the summer, be sure to find other ways to connect to them throughout the day. Splash with them in the bath, sing songs in the car as you run errands, or make dinner time more engaging each evening to create more positive connections each day.
Pay Attention to Their Interests
Although your kids may be playing alone, take the time to observe their play to learn about the things that interest them. Then, adjust their play time to cater to their interests in the future so they’re more likely to engage in independent play throughout the summer.
Let Them Play
Sticking to a schedule each day is important because it provides structure throughout the summer. But forgiving your kid’s schedule occasionally to allow them to finish playing can be very beneficial. Instead of stopping playtime at a set time each day, give your kids plenty of warning that playtime will be over soon to prevent distractions and show your kids that you value their time playing alone as much as they do.