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  #1  
Old 11-26-2015, 10:52 AM
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Default Typical Two Year Old Play

I have my ideas of what 2 year old play "should" look like but want to hear your perspectives to make sure my expectations are not out in left field.

For example:
-Would you expect a two year old to be able to play by themselves for any length of time without adult attention or play with a toy in an appropriate way without direction?

I have a two year old who doesn't play much. She follows me around quite a bit and won't engage with toys at all. She mostly wants to sit on my lap and interact with me. what are your two year olds doing?
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Old 11-26-2015, 11:41 AM
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I have a two year old who also won't really play by herself. She follows me around, and gets into stuff she knows she's not supposed to what time she's not on my heels whining. She seems to require constant entertainment from me instead of just occupying herself with toys. But that just doesn't seem normal to me because any two year old I've had before has played well either alone or with the others.
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Old 11-26-2015, 11:59 AM
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Is she your only one that age?

Generally, my 2s are much more interested in playing with each other and are also happy to play independently.

Having said that, I do have one right now who needs a bit more 'assistance' during free play.
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Old 11-26-2015, 12:30 PM
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Heck yeah. By two they should be all toys all the time.
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  #5  
Old 11-26-2015, 12:41 PM
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Thanks all!

She is 2 and my daughter is nearly 3 so ideally they should be sort of playing together I would think. I just don't remember other daycare kids being like this and my own kids were much more independent. my own daughter would play by herself quite a bit at less than 1 yr. I would expect at 2 a much more independent play style or a general interest in toys. I have every toy known to man and she does nothing with any of them. Even the toy animals!

I have taken to pulling my ipad or computer out to actively "ignore" her to see what she will do and she will just hang off my chair trying to get my attention the whole time. OR if I am sitting on the floor pretending to read she will just come and plop onto my lap. Mom is alone with her at night and she spends the morning until noon with dad.

any ideas?
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Old 11-26-2015, 12:46 PM
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To quote Nannyde "Go play toys"

Or hand her a toy to play with if she is hesitant to get going.

Rinse and repeat.
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Old 11-26-2015, 01:01 PM
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I have one that came to me like this. Right off the bat I noticed she could play (somewhat) independently outdoors but not at all indoors. It helped me to look at what she was able to do with the toys.

At two, the little girl here was pretty much at the dump and fill stage of toy play. (What babies do- dump it out and put it back in). She relied on me to provide the rest of her entertainment, which was exhausting.

I found it helpful to spend a little time modeling how to play with toys that the little girl here was interested in. That may work in your situation too. Sometimes kids who don't have age level play skills seek out adults as entertainment.

You might try modeling those skills that your other kids know how to do like: asking to play, stacking blocks, playing with pretend food.
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Old 11-26-2015, 04:37 PM
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I do model play frequently but it just might be a matter of repeating and then "go play". I agree she is in the dump and fill stage for sure and she is also more independent outside.

Thanks for the suggestions
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:50 PM
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Is she on a tablet at home?
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Old 11-26-2015, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariana View Post
I do model play frequently but it just might be a matter of repeating and then "go play". I agree she is in the dump and fill stage for sure and she is also more independent outside.

Thanks for the suggestions
You're welcome. I do walk away and give the little one here an opportunity to practice. Sometimes intentionally and sometimes just because I have several other kids that need attention too . . . Throughout the day, especially when things were really frustrating with her, I would alternate between modeling and just providing her with a quick "play idea" and redirecting her to an area with (a little older) kids who could continue modeling for her. At that age, it is way too easy for that (excessive) adult attention seeking behavior to become a big problem.
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
Is she on a tablet at home?
*Shudder* I do my interview process with the older kids (older than babies) in the daycare and I make part of the interview watching the child play. If the child can't play, they won't be getting a phone call from me. Tablet and tv kids are not really ... Kids.
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Old 11-26-2015, 11:29 PM
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*Shudder* I do my interview process with the older kids (older than babies) in the daycare and I make part of the interview watching the child play. If the child can't play, they won't be getting a phone call from me. Tablet and tv kids are not really ... Kids.
I know that electronics have become a huge problem, even with the little ones. But, I worked with parents in the home setting for six years and there are two other common factors that can come into play when a child under three doesn't play like other kids.

The biggest and most common was lack of parent education about child development. Kids don't pick up a toy one day and suddenly develop good play skills on their own. Parents are a child's first play partners, and if the parents aren't engaged play partners for whatever reason, a child's play skills can become delayed.

The second common reason I encountered is that the child was just developing play skills at a slower pace. It could be because of a delay/disorder or just that the child is developing a little slower than his/her peers.

And unfortunately, as you said, there are tiny electronics addicts. . I have seen a parent hand an iPhone to a 10 month old. It's sad and the worst part is, in really young children, it can cause the child's play to look different or delayed.

In an interview, I share my media policy with parents (tv/iPad free) and ask whether it's allowed at home. This gives me a good idea if what I'm seeing the child do during an interview is related to "excessive screen time" or not.
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  #13  
Old 11-27-2015, 03:40 AM
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Spedmommy, I always like your advice

Just another thought that popped in my head... maybe there is too much choice for her?

I have a ton of toys, too, and my littles were in the dump and fill stage so I cleared out the room. I mean very bare. Empty shelves. Without doing anything else differently, I have seen their play shift. Stacking of blocks, caring for babies, rolling of balls, etc. Gross motor exploration. They will bring things over for identification "ball" "blue" (they are all in the midst of a vocabulary burst) but for the most part are engaged and independent in their play.

I do have one, as I mentioned, who is constantly drawn back to me, I acknowledge (whatever I feel she is looking for: hug, snuggle, etc) and then send her back to play. She is improving but it is s l o w going. She has always been like this, though, and has a VERY shy temperment.

Now, my group is 15 - 18 months in this area, so a bit younger, but sounds on par with play development with your little one. I guess I would just look at it as any other milestone development, where a child is a little behind, and meet her where she's at. Keep moving forward, prompting her and she'll get it.
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:57 AM
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I've had a couple 2 yr olds like this.
None of mine were screen addicts at all.

The issue mine had was that the parents played e v e r y t h i n g with them.
They literally had no idea how to play without an adult.

The other kids weren't at all interesting because an adult provided ALL interaction, introduction, ideas, etc... so of course I was the only playmate they wanted or knew what to do with.

One of mine viewed the other kids as competition to her so ANY time I played with, gave attention to or spoke to others there would be a meltdown or protest.

The other one I had just treated the other kids like they didn't exist. She'd take a toy from the group and come sit by me or she would just walk past them and beeline to me with everything. She would only acknowledge me or my DH.

Now don't get me wrong, I think quality face time with your child is awesome, beneficial and very important but in some cases and some situations too much is not so helpful for the child.
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  #15  
Old 11-27-2015, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I've had a couple 2 yr olds like this.
None of mine were screen addicts at all.

The issue mine had was that the parents played e v e r y t h i n g with them.
They literally had no idea how to play without an adult.

The other kids weren't at all interesting because an adult provided ALL interaction, introduction, ideas, etc... so of course I was the only playmate they wanted or knew what to do with.

One of mine viewed the other kids as competition to her so ANY time I played with, gave attention to or spoke to others there would be a meltdown or protest.

The other one I had just treated the other kids like they didn't exist. She'd take a toy from the group and come sit by me or she would just walk past them and beeline to me with everything. She would only acknowledge me or my DH.

Now don't get me wrong, I think quality face time with your child is awesome, beneficial and very important but in some cases and some situations too much is not so helpful for the child.
That's definitely different from what I see here on the west coast. I have had parents look at me look at me like I'm crazy for suggesting they play with their children.

The last few posts highlight how important it is to have conversations with parents about what is happening at home. Is kiddo getting too much adult interaction? Not enough? Too much screen time? None? It's so much easier to figure out what to do about an issue at childcare if you know what is happening at home.
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  #16  
Old 11-27-2015, 09:13 AM
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The parents are teachers so I get a LOT of "what color is this" or "what shape is that" constant quizzing. I am not into this type of stuff at all at this age. The child can barely talk but their main focus is on colors and letters.

I haven't really asked mom about it because she is here awake about an hour and a half each day. A lot of that time is spent eating or outside. On indoor days is when I notice it the most.

She has ZERO interest in tv or ipad so I am absolutely certain it is not that. I sometimes put the tv on for my 3 year old after lunch so I can get their beds ready/clean up etc and she will not watch and will just follow me around. I had another child like this that turned out to be deaf but I am pretty sure she is not deaf.

I think it is just a matter of very little exposure to other kids and high adult interaction and entertainment. I don't think they play with her in the typical way. I would put the toys away but my 3 year old needs everything accessible. Everything is in bins though and I pull things out for them to play with. Yesterday I brought out the farm and the animals but no interest. She has taken to a Dora backpack that she carries around but again just carries it around while following me!

I REALLY get the feeling that she may have attachment issues. She is very defiant with her mother at drop off and has hit her (according to mom). She has tried to hit me but I obviously put a stop to that. It just seems like an anxiety and inability to relax and play if I am not in the room or engaged with her. She is jealous if my 3 yr old wants cuddles. She wants all attention on her all the time.

Sounds similar to your child BlackCat. I will bring it up with mom at pickup and just tell her to encourage more independent playing at home.
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:58 AM
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Interestingly- whether the parents are engaging her all the time or just setting the play up to be incredibly adult directed, the outcome is usually the same. You end up with a two year old who needs an adult to play all the time.

When caregiver/child play is pretty much "what's this? A dog." all the time, it creates a pattern in play that takes time to change. The two year old I have here has a delay that was made worse by her mom (a teacher) trying to fix it with adult directed play.
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Old 11-27-2015, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by spedmommy4 View Post
Interestingly- whether the parents are engaging her all the time or just setting the play up to be incredibly adult directed, the outcome is usually the same. You end up with a two year old who needs an adult to play all the time.

When caregiver/child play is pretty much "what's this? A dog." all the time, it creates a pattern in play that takes time to change. The two year old I have here has a delay that was made worse by her mom (a teacher) trying to fix it with adult directed play.
Yes the constant questioning is a bit over the top and could be what is happening. Why oh why do teachers do this!

There was an article about quizzing...I will try and find it and post it in our little FB group.
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Old 11-27-2015, 02:53 PM
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Yes the constant questioning is a bit over the top and could be what is happening. Why oh why do teachers do this!

There was an article about quizzing...I will try and find it and post it in our little FB group.
Could you post a link to the article here also? I would be interested in reading it.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:01 PM
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Could you post a link to the article here also? I would be interested in reading it.
Me too! I have a new pt 3yo. She behaves similarly, and the ONLY interaction she prompts with peers is showing them something, asking a direct question and either praising or correcting them. Unfortunately (for all of us) she doesn't know most of what she is quizzing them on, so everyone else is just annoyed by it.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:59 PM
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Unfortunately I cannot find an article anywhere! Maybe the article doesn't exist and it's something I learned in college?!!
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Old 11-30-2015, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
I've had a couple 2 yr olds like this.
None of mine were screen addicts at all.

The issue mine had was that the parents played e v e r y t h i n g with them.
They literally had no idea how to play without an adult.


The other kids weren't at all interesting because an adult provided ALL interaction, introduction, ideas, etc... so of course I was the only playmate they wanted or knew what to do with.

One of mine viewed the other kids as competition to her so ANY time I played with, gave attention to or spoke to others there would be a meltdown or protest.

The other one I had just treated the other kids like they didn't exist. She'd take a toy from the group and come sit by me or she would just walk past them and beeline to me with everything. She would only acknowledge me or my DH.

Now don't get me wrong, I think quality face time with your child is awesome, beneficial and very important but in some cases and some situations too much is not so helpful for the child.
I haven't had any screen addicts, but lots of this. Luckily I have a big enough group of good players that they help teach new little ones how to play pretty quick. But its usually an exhausting first few weeks. I have one 3yo dcb you plays well on his own but is constantly checking in with me about what an awesome job he is doing Its been 3 months and he's way better, but if I'm having a grumpy day it still drives me nuts
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Old 11-30-2015, 01:32 PM
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I haven't had any screen addicts, but lots of this. Luckily I have a big enough group of good players that they help teach new little ones how to play pretty quick. But its usually an exhausting first few weeks. I have one 3yo dcb you plays well on his own but is constantly checking in with me about what an awesome job he is doing Its been 3 months and he's way better, but if I'm having a grumpy day it still drives me nuts
"good job" seems to be an every 3-7 minute requirement.

...and even when I do get them to play WITH others or to the point of understanding what I want them to do, they simply blank out or stop the second I leave the area....

It's like the other kids either can't lead them (my one little one will NOT take cues from anyone other than an adult) or they simply don't understand that play is still happening even when the adult "coach" is not sitting right there...
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:40 PM
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"good job" seems to be an every 3-7 minute requirement.

...and even when I do get them to play WITH others or to the point of understanding what I want them to do, they simply blank out or stop the second I leave the area....

It's like the other kids either can't lead them (my one little one will NOT take cues from anyone other than an adult) or they simply don't understand that play is still happening even when the adult "coach" is not sitting right there...
YES!! so much directed play going on at home. It's not even play it's everything! I am not sure what is going on with kids but I am finding it extremely difficult finding "normal" children.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:56 PM
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I have two 23m and a 17m that play with toys by themselves most of the day. I have a ridiculous amount of toys and realized that the more toys they have available, the less likely they are to actually play nicely by themselves. Right now I have 3 little people school buses, a box of blocks, 3 rocking horses, a few books and some ball pit balls out. They are MUCH happier than they were with a roomful of toys.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:53 PM
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Unfortunately I cannot find an article anywhere! Maybe the article doesn't exist and it's something I learned in college?!!
Maybe this one?

https://www.seattlechildrens.org/pdf/Ce043.pdf
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