The Magic In Learning Through Play
Observing a child learn through play, and all on their own, has a magical feel to it. It is a time when children, and even young babies, can learn about what a toy can do, develop problem solving skills, and what they are capable of.
This also means that we might need to kindly step out of the way, and allow our children to learn in a self-directed way.
I KNOW how independent play can sound easy enough, but when it comes down to it - we may get stuck with endless entertaining or resorting to TV to just get a break.
Or maybe we really strive for our children to play independently, but the minute we leave the room to chop an onion - our children are hollering for us to come back! Oh, I've been there. And I still have those days because #momlife.
In order to strive for more child-led play, we need to trust that doing less is enjoying more for all.
Even young babies are capable of leading their own play, usually with their hands, when given the opportunity. Older babies, toddlers, and children are also the pros and don't always need our (even super cool) ideas.
Let's do this together this week: Set 15 minutes every day to simply observe self-directed play. To do this, find a cozy spot, grab your coffee (made your favorite way!), and quietly sit and watch. You may even want to tell your child, "I'm looking forward to watching you play today. I'll be sitting right here."
Have an attitude of confidence and curiosity about it all, and try to remember these 3 simple things:
Trust in their ability to lead the way. They are born to play!
Watch without an agenda. Acknowledge what they are doing when they look up at you ("yes, I see you stacking the blocks." or "You look frustrated, hmmm. I wonder what you'll do?")
Enjoy watching your child's unique interests and unfolding development.
It can feel awkward, or like you should be doing something at first. But it gets easier, especially when you observe something delightful happen that was initiated by your child.
If you're up for sharing what you're observing, or have any questions at all, feel free to contact me or leave a comment below. I read every one.
Also, I have a series dedicated to helping our children learn through play. Would you like to receive it?
Sending lots of love,
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