Monday, December 21, 2015

Independent Play

I have no background in childhood education, 
but based on various articles I've read, 
conversations I've had, 
and my own experience, 
I can say this: 

I value Independent Play as one of the most important development milestones of childhood. 

Of course, I understand the value of preparing my child for school, 
learning ABCs, 

In summary though: 
I think it's healthy for children to be bored* every now and then. 
I think it's healthy to exercise their imagination. 
And I think it's healthy for me as a mom to have some time to myself, 
even if "time to myself" is just doing laundry or cooking dinner in peace. 

* I say 'bored' NOT meaning totally unstimulated sitting in an empty room. 
By 'bored', I mean 'not entertained.' 
No tv, no electronics, no scheduled activities. 
Just you, yourself, and your toys.  

There was a time when I thought Aaron would NEVER play independently. 
Where I would ALWAYS have a little shadow following me, 
demanding attention. 
But slowly... 
ever so slowly... 
I find the stretches of independent play grow longer, 
and longer, 
and longer. 

Sometimes it's playing with blocks. 

Sometimes it's browsing "magazines" 
(toy catalogs). 

And sometimes he goes down in the basement, 
and just plays by himself, 
no warning or anything. 
  It's kind of crazy. 

Of course he still requests 
"Mommy play with me" 
"Mommy build a zoo." 
And that's fine, too. 
 "Mommy's zoo"
But the fact that he CAN play independently, 
is amazing. 
And it makes me so so so so so happy.


  1. Amen! Colby and Clara will play together some and that is also my favorite!

  2. Sam got into independent play a lot more than Rachel did but now he drags her along with him which is awesome! Also, Rachel is slowly starting to play more on her own.

    I also REALLY value independent play. I too think it's good for kids to be "bored." I think, our society puts too much pf a focus on "entertain your kids" and I really don't think that's healthy for them or for us.