Welcome back to the discussion of the different types of play that are important for a child’s development. Last time we discussed Exploratory Play, which could also be considered Unoccupied Play. This is the most basic type of play and usually between 0-3 months of age. Now we are going to dive into Solitary Play which occurs 0-2 years old.
This type of play is exactly what it sounds like, or what you could consider “alone time”. Playing by themselves is a great way to teach children to build confidence in themselves and their abilities. Children who are more extroverted and thrive on social interaction can still learn to play by themselves and should. Encouraging solitary play can serve them well throughout their lives as they will learn to be content with themselves and their surroundings.
Children who are in solitary play are interacting with toys and objects around them. They typically don’t concern themselves with others around them. Great ways to encourage this type of play are with toys such as toy kitchens, walks in nature to teach them to pay attention to their own surroundings, interactive books, or a play gym.
My son as a child was always seeking for a connection with others, whether through eye contact or touch or play, but it was important to teach him to find ways to entertain himself for even short periods of time. Solitary Play is also referred to as Independent Play, which is a great way to teach your child independence. Letting them explore their world around them on their own will teach them courage, confidence in self and independence for the rest of their lives.