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Here at Together Families, we connect Early Childhood Educators, Teachers and Parents. We encourage the sharing of ideas, knowledge and experiences to help build stronger and healthier children and families.

Involved VS Independant Play

As we know, children learn best through play. With a lack of playtime available in schools today, parents have an increased responsibility to teach children how to be independent and problem solve through play at home. There are two forms of play, independent play and involved play. They are equally important and come with their own sets of benefits. Here is a breakdown:

The Benefits of Involved Play:

Frame of reference – Children first begin playing by mimicking their parents, to build their own idea of the world. After following, they can then start to experiment with additional play on their own.

Confidence – When parents play with their children and encourage them, they are instilling the confidence for the child to continue stepping outside of what they already know to help learn and explore even more.

Family bonds – Children crave their parents’ time and attention, but siblings are an important component in play as well. When siblings play with the younger child, not only are those bonds being strengthened, but the younger child will learn much faster by mimicking someone they already trust.

The Benefits of Independent Play:

Independence – Children who play on their own have the opportunity to learn how to navigate situations, giving them the confidence to thrive.

Cooperation – Children whose parents don’t always entertain them if they are bored, but rather encourage them to find ways to play and entertain themselves, will have an easier time interacting with other children.

Critical thinking – Even after parents have started to gradually step away from play, they should always periodically return to ask questions, which can encourage children’s critical thinking and understanding of cause and effect.

Jenneane Snyder is a former teacher and the vice president of operations for Romp n’ Roll, a modernized kids’ gym that prioritizes the intersection of education and entertainment.

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