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Old 05-28-2014, 11:45 AM
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mamamanda mamamanda is offline
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Default independent play

Have you ever had experience with a child who could not play independently...like at all? I have a family with a 2y.o. & 3y.o. and neither of them will go play unless I am directing the play or leading an activity. I do this every day, but I believe children learn the most through self-directed play and would like to see them engage. My almost 3 y.o. entertains himself for 40-60 min at a time multiple times a day and is very imaginative. These kids won't even go play with other kids for 5 min without fighting or getting into something. They either sit on the couch chewing on their blanket all day, or run around acting crazy and dumping totes of toys. I try to make them pick up what they dump, but I literally feel like I just follow them around pulling them out of trouble all day long. I've tried blanket time where they get special toys as long as they stay on a blanket, but its almost more of a fight to keep them on the blanket than its worth. I'm stressed out with this behavior and don't know what I'm doing wrong. I've asked mom what they do at home and she said they usually watch tv or sort through closets, untensil drawers, etc. She said I was doing better than her since I at least get them to sit at the table when they eat. I just can't imagine taking that approach with my child. Suggestions?
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:52 AM
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Here are a couple of articles about independent play
http://www.simplykidstoys.com/educat...ay-skills.html

http://singleparents.about.com/od/pa...urage_play.htm

http://www.redbookmag.com/kids-famil...urself-a-break
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:54 AM
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Can you limit the blanket to be used during nap time only? I have also noticed that children who have a lovey become very fixated on it. It often gets in the way of play (and, as a result, in the way of learning, too) because many kids will just sit and hold it/chew on it.
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:57 AM
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Also, it sounds like at home the kids are either passive in front of the TV or let run wild through the house.

I would try to keep them in an area of your home that is 100% child proof. I'd start with just a few toys--not enough to dump, and no buckets for dumping. They get those toys. That area. PLAY TIME! Once they are able to play with a few toys, I'd add more and more.

You might need to role model play. You can sit by their side and "teach" them how to play with cars, dolls, etc.

Separate them and pair them up with an older child or a child who knows how to play. They can learn by watching and imitation.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:08 PM
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Never mind, missed part of the post.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preschoolteacher View Post
Can you limit the blanket to be used during nap time only? I have also noticed that children who have a lovey become very fixated on it. It often gets in the way of play (and, as a result, in the way of learning, too) because many kids will just sit and hold it/chew on it.
I tried that and mom and dad got very angry with me. I told dcg she could chew on it during nap time, but she is getting ready to turn 4 and she didn't need to chew on it during the day. She went home and cried and it was huge issues between the parents and me. Long story, but mom informed me that she is to be allowed to chew on it whenever she wants b/c that's her comfort thing and I shouldn't have made a big deal out of it. So frustrating. I have told her if she's going to chew on it she has to keep it off of the other kids b/c it gets wet with spit and then she wipes it on them. eeeeewww
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:14 PM
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The blanket is a lovely that dcg chews on all day long, but I also referenced a blanket that I spread out on the floor for special play time.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mamamanda View Post
I tried that and mom and dad got very angry with me. I told dcg she could chew on it during nap time, but she is getting ready to turn 4 and she didn't need to chew on it during the day. She went home and cried and it was huge issues between the parents and me. Long story, but mom informed me that she is to be allowed to chew on it whenever she wants b/c that's her comfort thing and I shouldn't have made a big deal out of it. So frustrating. I have told her if she's going to chew on it she has to keep it off of the other kids b/c it gets wet with spit and then she wipes it on them. eeeeewww
I would tell the parents this and let them know that THIS is the reason why she can no longer have it outside of nap times. If there was another child wiping spit all over their daughter all day long I'm sure they'd be upset.

"DCM and DCD, dcg's blanket has become a sanitation issue because saliva from where she chews it comes in contact with objects that the other children touch. From now on, it will remain in her cubby, except at nap time. Thank you!" ::Big Smile::
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:46 PM
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If this is the family that you used to care for in their own home, the parents might have a hard time realizing that you are no longer their personal employee. You may have to be very clear that you need to make decisions for the best of the group.
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preschoolteacher View Post
If this is the family that you used to care for in their own home, the parents might have a hard time realizing that you are no longer their personal employee. You may have to be very clear that you need to make decisions for the best of the group.
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamanda View Post
Have you ever had experience with a child who could not play independently...like at all? I have a family with a 2y.o. & 3y.o. and neither of them will go play unless I am directing the play or leading an activity. I do this every day, but I believe children learn the most through self-directed play and would like to see them engage. My almost 3 y.o. entertains himself for 40-60 min at a time multiple times a day and is very imaginative. These kids won't even go play with other kids for 5 min without fighting or getting into something. They either sit on the couch chewing on their blanket all day, or run around acting crazy and dumping totes of toys. I try to make them pick up what they dump, but I literally feel like I just follow them around pulling them out of trouble all day long. I've tried blanket time where they get special toys as long as they stay on a blanket, but its almost more of a fight to keep them on the blanket than its worth. I'm stressed out with this behavior and don't know what I'm doing wrong. I've asked mom what they do at home and she said they usually watch tv or sort through closets, untensil drawers, etc. She said I was doing better than her since I at least get them to sit at the table when they eat. I just can't imagine taking that approach with my child. Suggestions?
I have a 3.5 year old that rarely plays independently. She will literally sit and stare at the other kids while they play. I feel that shes either super entertained or theres another issue going on.
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:14 PM
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I have a 6 yr old 1st grader who has no idea how to play. It's sad. She can be happily playing with another child, if the other child walks away - even just to get a tissue - she stops playing. She will replay scenarios that she has seen or heard, but has no idea how to use her imagination

Her family is ALWAYS on the go. They do more in a weekend than my family will do in two weeks. Her mom said "Yes, we are way to busy, but that's what she likes! She doesn't know what to do with herself if we don't go out and do things!"

I've been trying - unsuccessfully - to get her to play independently for 2 years.
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:50 AM
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I would term. No way would I deal with breaking years of bad habits with these kids while mom lets them run wild at home. I would not allow a parent to tell me what to do about things like blankets. my house, my rules.

I personally dont think you will be able to overcome this unless you want to spend A LOT of time with these kids and at 4 years old, they will be off to school by the time you get much progress, if you are able to get any. everytime they go home, bad habits are back.
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