Rai

Encouraging solo play

Has anyone had an success with encouraging solo play in your toddler(s)? My 15 m/o is very loving, cuddly, comforted my closeness and reassurance, which is adorable most of the time, but challenging as I work from home and sometimes need two hands for things. What have you liked for helping your little ones entertain themselves?

  • Anonymous
    Jun 18

    I follow this mom on Instagram and she did a whole post about “room play” she introduced it slowly with 5 min of playing in your room quietly and slowly added more time as it got better and better. She left her timer on her phone in the room and said I’ll come in when the timer goes off and we can play together for a little then clean up. She has a designated time for all her kids to go in their rooms and play quietly during the day. LOVE that idea! I also like her idea of sensory bins, so filling a shallow bin with rice, beans, sand and putting some toys in there to play. 15 mo might be kinda young for that, but might be worth a try! Also (sounds weird) but we play in the garage a lot with our outside toys. If I don’t have the time (or energy) to do a full blown play outside time I’ll let him play in the garage w his tike and water table and toys and chalk so I know he’s confined in one area and it’s also a change of scenery! I do that when it’s REALLY cold or REALLY hot out. I also have put one of those baby fences across my patio and left back door open so he can go in and out (but not be able to roam whole yard) and play w his water table or sand table or toys.... again change of scenery. Hope that helps 😅

  • Jenn
    Jun 18

    My LO is 13 months and I try to have her play by herself while I'm in the same room. She likes to wander around our first floor, so I let her do that when I'm home too. I can't get work done by any means though because as soon as my computer comes out, she is all over me to play with it haha. I'd suggest doing the room or giving him/her toys to play with while you are in the room but letting them entertain themselves. Try toys that they can put stuff in/pull stuff out of. My LO will play with those for the most amount of time.

  • Anonymous
    Jun 18

    At 15 months kids aren’t able to play alone for very long. You can start with small stretches and give her practice

  • Anonymous
    Jun 19

    My child has bee playing alone for 20-40 min since he turned 1. The trick that I found was, to give him a limited amount of open ended toys. Like REALLY open ended. That paper that comes in your Amazon box as packing filler. He played peekaboo, he scrunched it, be make a path and walked it, he ripped it, he put it up around the sides of his playpen. I feel like modern toys often discourage creative play.

  • Sara
    Jun 20

    The best thing I've found for my little one (1 year old) for solo play is to give her something that isn't designed to be a toy and also that she hasn't seen before. Things like kitchen utensils and mixing bowls, big cardboard boxes she can climb in, random objects that seem safe... all those things she loves to play with. If it is designed to be an actual toy she gets bored more easily! My 4 year old will play by herself really well for a LONG time with arts and crafts and legos and that sort of thing and has been doing that for awhile.

  • Marie
    Jun 20

    I started doing 10 minutes of solo play time with my oldest after each meal. It started out so I could clean up, but I also saw the added benefit of him playing by himself. We now do 10-15 minutes after each meal with our twins (who are 1) and oldest is now 2.5. We turned our bedroom into a 3rd play room, so that each kid is in their own room for solo-play. The Twins fuss sometimes but then they start playing again and all is well. I’m very glad we started doing this.