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  • The STEM Nanny Company

Perks of Independent Play and How to Encourage it

Children learn best through play! The American Academy of Pediatrics sustains that developmentally appropriate play fosters the social-emotional, cognitive, language, and self-regulation skills necessary for executive function and prosocial brain development. Additionally, it promotes good physical health and stable and nurturing relationships with caregivers and peers, helping children thrive.

In a world where children are constantly engaged to prevent boredom, it can become challenging for parents to juggle work, household duties, childcare responsibilities, and make time for self-care.

Now, imagine a world where you have the time to accomplish your daily goals and enjoy a cup of delicious coffee while keeping an eye on the children. It is possible and even beneficial for both, children and caretakers! Independent play is the answer!

What is Independent Play?

Independent play occurs when a child plays on their own without intervention from adults to guide their playtime experience. During this time, also known as free play or unstructured play, a child is left alone in a safe environment to utilize their imagination to develop their own forms of entertainment.

What are the benefits of Independent Play?

There are many! Playing alone gives children an opportunity to use their imagination to experiment and learn on their own. During this time, they can develop cognitive and motor abilities, boost their creativity, stimulate exploration and discovery, learn self-regulation, and practice problem-solving.

Children are challenged to come up with strategies to make decisions and troubleshoot with no one there to guide or correct them. As a result, they are compelled to think logically or creatively, trust their instincts and build a sense of mastery and control. Furthermore, children learn valuable life skills such as independence, patience, self-reliance, and self-control.

And for adults, independent play allows time to get work done without interruptions or taking a breather from the stresses and demands of the day. You're welcome mental health!