Independent Play

Share everyday things like field trips, homeschooling experiences, or just anything that doesn't seem to belong elsewhere!

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Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:35 pm

Independent Play

Postby Calla_Dragon » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:26 am

I'm wondering if anyone else has kids who, when presented with free, unstructured playtime, have no clue what to do with themselves and choose to do inappropriate activities (i.e. jumping on the couch, chasing after cats, etc - stuff they know is not allowed) instead of appropriate activities.

I know the ability to play independently is important, but to date I've been pretty unsuccessful in my attempts to get my kids to do appropriate activities in their free time without me expressly telling them what to play with. They are completely clueless as to what to do with themselves without me directing them.

The odd thing is that when my 6 year old isn't home, my 4 year plays independently perfectly fine, but when both boys are at home, neither of them know how to play independently (or just the two of them).

Just a hot button issue this morning while I was trying to get some stuff done and wondering if anyone else dealt with this issue and how it was dealt with.
To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.

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Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:16 am

Re: Independent Play

Postby Ramona » Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:59 am

My first two always seemed to be able to play on their own, but when they went to Grandma's for a week and I had #3 by herself at home, I discovered that they had been entertaining her and she had no idea how to play alone. I had a *lot* of work that week finding her a new activity every 20 minutes or so.

When we came home recently after 3 weeks on vacation, it seemed the 3 littlest kids had totally forgotten what they used to do all day and we had to introduce them to their toys all over again.

Also, this spring when our unusually long, snowy winter finally ended the little kids didn't remember what to do outside when they couldn't build snowmen. We had to learn about grass and playgrounds and bikes as if they were brand-new inventions!

Maybe I don't have any answers about how to teach kids to play independently, but I just wanted to throw in a bit of "you're not alone."



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Postby StellarStory » Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:21 pm

This ability comes and goes per the individual and maturity.

My daughter couldn't play very well by herself until around four.

My son was great playing with chunky legos by himself at two but lost the ability for a few years.

It varies.

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