Do you sometimes wish your child would not depend upon you so much to be his playmate? Are there actually benefits your preschooler realizes by playing alone? How can you encourage your little one to play more inedependently?
Benefits Your Preschooler Realizes by Playing Alone
He learns how to manage his time.
Managing time is a skill he will need throughout his life so there is no better time to start learning how to do so. Playing alone can teach a child to play within a time period to build a castle, read a book, or complete a drawing.
He learns how to make his own fun.
Your child can’t grow up expecting you or someone else to help him have fun. He has to use his creative energies to entertain himself and discover fun activities he can do himself.
He realizes that not every moment is a party.
Your preschooler learns that certain times in life can be lonely and that life can’t always be a thrill and he has to adapt accordingly. Learning this helps him appreciate the exciting times even more after spending time alone.
He learns to problem-solve on his own.
Playing alone presents the opportunity to find solutions on his own without always turning to you or someone else for the answer. This is a powerful skill he’ll need throughout his life.
He discovers the importance of giving others their space.
Encouraging your child to play alone at times helps him learn that people will not always be available to accommodate him. They may need their own space to recuperate.
He feels a calmness.
When playing with others, your preschooler gets lots of active interaction. When playing alone, your child develops calm and self-soothing feelings. As a result, he’ll feel less abandoned when you drop him of at school for the first time and will be able to cope better on his own.
How to Encourage Your Preschooler to Play Alone
Playing alone does not happen overnight; it will take some time for your child to develop this skill. If your child does not want to play alone, there are things you can do to foster it.
- Fill a basket with a few special toys, a book, safe egg beater, feather duster, whisk broom, hat, scarves and other drees-up accessories, crayons, paper, and an empty egg carton.
- Examine the items with your child. Gradually start becoming less involved as he shows continued interest with his basket of fun.
- Don’t leave the room. Rather, start your own activity whether it’s folding laundry or reading a book. From time to time, offer some praise about the manner in which your child is playing. This will give him the attention he is craving while you won’t be actively participating.
- Every day, add a few more minutes of this independent play until it becomes a normal routine for him.
There are many benefits your preschooler realizes by playing alone that will serve him well in life. Playing independently fosters creativity, time-management, calmness, and problem-solving skills. It also gives him perspective on others’ need for space. You‘ll need to encourage his ability to play alone since it does take children some time to develop this skill.
Chappell Schools of Jacksonville, Florida has been providing child care and preschool learning programs for 55+ years. Our educational programs address the TOTAL child – cognitively, emotionally, physically, and socially. We pride ourselves on being voted one of the “Top 50 For-Profit Child Care Organizations in North America.” Visit one of our eight centers to see how we make learning fun by contacting us at 904.739.1279. To get more child care tips, please “Like” our Facebook page.