Independent Play

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My six year old started school recently and my three year old doesn't want to play alone or even go outside. What can I do to help him become more independent? He is fine when his sister is around.

Independent Play

Learning to play alone is hard for many toddlers. You can help your child learn this important skill. First, designate a short time, perhaps 10 minutes, each day for independent play. It helps if it is the same time each day. You may even want to set a timer. Explain to your child that it is playtime, and tell her what you will be doing during that time. At first, you will need to give her a few choices of activities. She may whine, cry, or even have a tantrum, but you should not give her attention during this time. When the time is over, attend to her needs. If she has played well, praise her. After a few successful days, increase the time slightly. Usually, toddlers can learn to amuse themselves for 20 minutes or more.



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