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Encouraging Independent Play in Toddlers

Although I try to have a rhythm to our day and week with parent-led activities like our homeschool preschool curriculum, scheduled play-dates, outings, and church, I still value and intentionally create large  chunks of time throughout the week for independent play that is child-led and uninterrupted by me or my husband. This looks different day to day, because some days he will spend more than an hour in deep play while other days he repeatedly comes to me and asks "play with me, mama?" But I have learned a few lessons in the last two-ish years on how to encourage Elliot to play on his own. I wanted to share what I believe has been helpful in case other mamas could use some ideas in this area. But first: why is it important that young children learn to play on their own? It's great for the parents, because they are not constantly needed to entertain the child 24/7. We have things to do around the house, but we also need an occasional break from constantly playing with ou

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