I had this immense guilt the first time I left Alina in the next room to play by herself. She’s my little buddy that I do absolutely everything with. The last two years she’s been basically glued to me. But because I did everything with her I was so exhausted and my grownup chores were not fun for her. I came across independent play by accident when she was having a time out after a screaming fit. I went to check on her and I found her quietly drawing. It was incredible and fascinating to watch this two year old not needing me to entertain her. I did a bit more research on it to make sure it was ok and then I put my own twist to it.
Here are a few activities she likes to do that your toddler might enjoy too:
– Anyone who has met Alina knows she loves to sing. I start off one of her songs for her and then let her sing in front of the TV. The TV is switched off but she can see her reflection in it and will sing all of her nursery rhymes for a while. ( I tried to get her to watch tv, it holds her attention for 5 minutes)
– Both my husband and I love to draw, so naturally our toddler picked up the love for drawing and creating art. Coloring books are not as fun for her as a blank piece of paper is. I hear her nattering to herself while she colors away. Crayons work better than pencils and they are safer because they are blunt. I also let her color the dry leaves from the garden.
– Large puzzles with about 4 to 6 pieces are also a great way to keep her entertained. I’ve noticed that she tries to say all of the shapes and colors in the puzzle. She’s usually very busy with the puzzle for about 15 minutes and then moves on to her default activity of drawing.
– My kid loves numbers. I think the combination of the way it looks and sounds must be fascinating to her. She can currently count up to 20 in English. So anything with numbers she will try to say it and draw it over and over again. I usually write the numbers on paper and let her try to repeat it. This keeps her occupied for about an hour.
So there you have it, a few of my Alina’s favorite alone time play activities. It really has helped her blossom into a new person and reduced tantrums. I personally feel the tantrums have reduced because she’s learning to problem solve which is helping her deal with her emotions. Just a reminder that when you do allow your toddler to play by herself stay close by and regularly check in and make sure it is a safe environment.