Do you have charges or children of your own that don’t like playing alone? Do you feel that you need to “entertain” them at all times? 13 years ago, Becky Kavanagh wrote an article on this very topic for a nanny publication. She recently came back across it and discovered something. The things she wrote about still have relevance today. She is still with that family from 13 years ago and she shares a unique perspective of what things were like then to how they are today.
Why is Independent Play Important?
Through independent play, children learn to think for themselves, work with others, and integrate new ideas and viewpoints. They develop autonomy, a synonym for liberty, independence, and freedom – all words that, for me, project a picture of the journeys ahead for children as they move toward adulthood.
We want to encourage those steps that help a child develop self-confidence and independence. Solo play supports social growth by letting the child build confidence in their abilities. In group play they draw on what they already know. Group play led by children (not by adults) is another form of independent play. Child-driven and child-centered, group play helps children explore the concepts, ideas and viewpoints of their friends.
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