There are several benefits associated with a toddler that can play on his own:
- Give him a sense of nonconformity and master of his world.
- Stimulate imagination and creativity.
- Help him make sense of his environment, problem-solving, and experimenting with different roles through pretending.
- Encourage him to be independent.
- Promotes physical as well as emotional growth.
- Effective form of self-soothing and stress-relief.
Playing solo is assisting children with becoming independent and growing into an adult who can spend time on his own.
Parents can sometimes be the biggest obstacle when it comes to their child playing on his own. This relates to parents who:
- Is too anxious and won’t allow the child to be on his own.
- Is overly interfering, involved, and controlling.
- Acts over-indulgent.
In this case balance out playing with your child, allowing the child the direct the playtime. And, also, allow your child to play independently. They don't need involved every moment.
Children can also be the source of the problem. Every child is raised in different circumstances, has a distinct personality and temperament, which can either be encouraging or an obstacle with independent play. For instance:
- A child who is insecure, timid, anxious, and fearful will experience separation issues and will struggle to cope more.
- The child’s role in a family may be contributing as well. An only child or a child with siblings where the age gap is significant may develop a different level of strength.
- Children who have undergone a difficult time, such as trauma, divorce, or bereavement may find it hard to entertain themselves.
- Children who feel out-sourced, ignored, or neglected may become over-demanding of his parents.
Encourage your child to play alone, but don't make the only form of playtime. They need you involvement, too. Same goes for other caregivers. When looking for childcare, seek out a Great Au Pair who is understanding child development and the importance of playing toys, both with and without adult involvement.
The Advantages of Playing with Toys
- Playing with toys provides children with valuable skills that promote their development beyond imaginary battles between Iron man toys, Teenage mutant ninja turtles, etc. and their enemies, or playing house with a favorite doll.
- Among other useful abilities, toys can assist with developing fine motor skills and how to think creatively.
- The more kids play with toys, the more capable they will become for advancement to other stages and milestones in their lives. Children learn valuable skills through playing that they will need and implement once they’ve reached adulthood.
- When kids use toys like molds and clay where they create things, they are advancing fine motor skills. They learn about different colors and shapes, as well.
- Playing with dolls encourages role play, where they can look after their “baby,” take care of it and put it to sleep. Roleplay is an excellent tool for lengthening a child’s attention span while playing games, watching multiple storylines with different characters and endings. This way, they are developing better reasoning, judgment and problem-solving and negotiation skills.
- When children play board games or build blocks with siblings and friends, they learn social skills like working in a team, taking turns, listening to one another, helping each other, and playing fair.