A wise man once said, “Children have a full-time occupation. It’s called play! Let them be occupied by it from their early years until their twilight.” Man is a social being and children have learned to play since the earliest civilization, but these kinds of play usually happen in small groups with their friends and peers. There are however some kids who find it extremely difficult to engage in play alone for short periods of time, and research shows that this might be significantly hindering their development.
When it comes to encouraging your kids to spend quality time playing independently, many parents out there find it harder than getting horses to fly. As toddlers, there’s no doubting the fact that kids still need a secure base from which they can explore their environment, and that’s mostly going to be Mama. However, if your child is continuously yammering for your presence, needing your attention, and incapable of doing anything by himself or herself (even play), then you have a problem on your hand.
If this describes your ordeal, then the 18-inch doll, Playtime by Eimmie, is just what you need. The big question on your mind now is how playing with dolls can help your child play independently? You’ll find out soon enough.
What Causes Overdependence?
For starters, you’re not alone in this as there are several mothers and guardians out there who struggle with their kids' overdependence. Some reasons for children being unable to play independently are:
- Giving them too much screen time.
- They’re simply not used to playing alone.
- Some kids see playtime as the only opportunity to connect with their parents.
- It might be as a result of loneliness.
- They simply don’t know how to play on their own.
- They don’t have periods of reduced activity or inactivity.
All these are entirely true for a lot of children out there, but this is no fault of yours. Like any other thing children do, they need to learn to play independently and with the 18-inch American Girl doll, all these can be corrected.
The Importance of Independent Play
Playing alone is essential for kids to master for the following reasons:
- Independent play helps your kids utilize and develop their imagination. Watching them play with dolls and have tea parties, become princesses or valiant knights, and act their roles is priceless.
- It teaches them a little something about being independent, which is an important trait they’ll need as young adults. They won’t be reliant on others for happiness and entertainment.
- It provides an escape route from boredom and idleness. I believe that only idle minds have room for mischief.
- It teaches kids to become their own problem-solvers, and this will help them understand their emotions better.
- Playing alone encourages calmness. Rather than running around outside with friends, playing independently with dolls and other toys, on the other hand, brings a sense of calmness.
How To Encourage Independent Play
- Be An Observing Partner. Teaching your child to play independently doesn’t mean that you have to totally abandon them when they play, neither do you have to be an equal participant. Your daughter wants to play with you because she wants you to be a part of her life. However, you can encourage independence by sitting close to her while she plays with her dolls, making observations, and asking questions. Just showing that you’re interested in her is enough.
- Introduce Them To Playtime. Playtime is an 18-inch doll produced by Eimmie and handed to kids who are subscribers of Club Eimmie. Not just the doll, but the package comes with furniture for the 18-inch dolls, clothes for 18-inch dolls, and American girl doll accessories that tend to make independent play as epic as possible.
- Allow Your Kids To Play Their Way. This has a lot to do with trust and refusing the temptation to impose your own play structure and rules. This gives them the freedom to express themselves while they play. Though play can get risky and silly, risky play is actually quite healthy for young children and helps them know their limits and their boundaries.
- Resist The Urge To join In All The Time. Sometimes, we parents are the problems. Our inability to resist the urge to join every activity our kids do makes them more dependent on you for everything.
- Help Them Get Started. Some kids have been dependent for so long that they have no single idea of how to play independently. This is where you can help by providing cues. Do this by asking questions about your child’s favorite toy, how he wants to spend his free time, what he likes to do, etc. Doing this regularly will cause him to figure out things he loves to do and start enjoying to do them with or without you.
While this guide might provide so many helpful tips, always remember to keep your expectations realistic. Change and development take time. The 18-inch doll can go a long way to helping your child enjoy independent playtime more than ever.