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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Teaching A Child To Play And Not Be Entertained By An Adult
My3cents 11:59 AM 07-20-2012
Stemming off of another thread I just read.

How does everyone teach children to play and not be entertained by an adult or other source? I know many have said (including myself) that kid's don't know how to "play" How do we get kid's back to that "play" era or is it long gone by in the face of techno and adults catering to a child's every wish?

Thoughts?
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Breezy 12:03 PM 07-20-2012
For my DS, I let him play on his own first thing in the morning and then when he is playing nicely I join in and play too. Not sure if that is really teaching him anything but it seems to work.
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DaisyMamma 12:05 PM 07-20-2012
I will sit the child down and give him something to play with. Or ask him what he wants to play and get it out for him. Then I go on to what it is I need to do. If he stops and comes over to me, i say, go play with ***x. The kid I have who does this can easily come find me every 5 minutes. After a while he gets it.
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cheerfuldom 12:06 PM 07-20-2012
Some tips that have worked for me...

1. I dont have electronic toys or screens (no TV or computer) in my playroom or backyard. Every toy has to be played with in some way....they dont entertain.

2. I dont entertain the kids. They all eventually give up being bored and go find something to do

3. I try to choose toys that dont have just one way to play with them...open ended toys are more creative!
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Blackcat31 12:56 PM 07-20-2012
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom:
Some tips that have worked for me...

1. I dont have electronic toys or screens (no TV or computer) in my playroom or backyard. Every toy has to be played with in some way....they dont entertain.

2. I dont entertain the kids. They all eventually give up being bored and go find something to do

3. I try to choose toys that dont have just one way to play with them...open ended toys are more creative!


I have no TV or electronics either and cannot stress how differently my days have been since ditching the TV/electronics a while back (about 2 years now).

I have days now where I am not needed for anything (besides food & diapering) and have to search for things to keep myself entertained.... LOL!

I do NOT entertain children either and expect my older kids to be role models for my younger kids.

I have tons of toys that can be used creatively or basically in any way a kid can think of .....
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Kiki 01:11 PM 07-20-2012
I must be lucky, I don't have an issue with kids wanting me to entertain them, they just..play at my house.
The kids I watch have wicked imaginations, they've put together restaurants, dog walking companies, cooking school, normal school, you name it and they've probably done it. Today during lunch they had all of the chairs lined up in a train and were going to Disneyland.

Proper use of technology isn't what ruins kids playing nowadays, it's the improper use of it. What I mean by that: Parents who sit their children down in front of the TV 100% of the time at home aren't teaching their children anything other than how to watch TV. Parents who sit their children down in front of a computer 100% of the time-same thing.
Parents who have their children earn their screen time and give them toys to use that aren't electronic are introducing both imaginative play, and screen play; and creating a balance between the two. My children earn their time, and know that they aren't allowed to just use the electronics in our home at their leisure, it's at my discretion. In this day and age, it's really hard to avoid the use of electronic items, but it isn't as hard as parents make it out to be to limit the use of them.

I should note before I get lit on fire: I don't use computers/TV during day care hours. We've watched a few videos on the computer before while we were doing a certain activity, but I've never had them available for free use.
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Blackcat31 01:17 PM 07-20-2012
Originally Posted by Kiki:
I must be lucky, I don't have an issue with kids wanting me to entertain them, they just..play at my house.
The kids I watch have wicked imaginations, they've put together restaurants, dog walking companies, cooking school, normal school, you name it and they've probably done it. Today during lunch they had all of the chairs lined up in a train and were going to Disneyland.

Proper use of technology isn't what ruins kids playing nowadays, it's the improper use of it. What I mean by that: Parents who sit their children down in front of the TV 100% of the time at home aren't teaching their children anything other than how to watch TV. Parents who sit their children down in front of a computer 100% of the time-same thing.
Parents who have their children earn their screen time and give them toys to use that aren't electronic are introducing both imaginative play, and screen play; and creating a balance between the two. My children earn their time, and know that they aren't allowed to just use the electronics in our home at their leisure, it's at my discretion. In this day and age, it's really hard to avoid the use of electronic items, but it isn't as hard as parents make it out to be to limit the use of them.

I should note before I get lit on fire: I don't use computers/TV during day care hours. We've watched a few videos on the computer before while we were doing a certain activity, but I've never had them available for free use.
Good info!

I should state that I am NOT anti-TV as I have been known to freak out if my DVR misses some of my favorite shows.....

I choose NOT to have any electronics, computer time or TV watching going on while I am being paid to care for someone's child.

If the parents want to go home and plop their child in front of the TV for the evening.....more power to them......I don't agree, but I got to be the boss of raising my kids so they get to be the boss of raising theirs.

I am just not paid to let their children zone out of TV screens while on my watch.
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Kiki 01:22 PM 07-20-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Good info!
I should state that I am NOT anti-TV as I have been known to freak out if my DVR misses some of my favorite shows.....
Me too.


Sadly, I think most parents nowadays think that watching TV with their children is spending time with them. Each morning as my kids arrive I like to ask them how their weekend/night was, and what they did. It never fails for one of my girls to answer the same way. 'We watched TV! In the front room! It was Dora, and Diego, and Blues Clues!' Dad picks up DCG: 'Can we go home and watch Dora?' Dad: 'Sure!' Me thinking: Why not go home and PLAY Dora? Play anything!
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Breezy 02:30 PM 07-20-2012
Does anyone have the tv on for themselves during the day? I watch the first hour of the Today show everyday. It's usually muted unless its something I care to hear like the coverage of the shooting. My tv is mounted way up high and noone pays attention to it really. I usually have all under 2s the oldest being 17 months. After the Today show the tv goes off until 12 for a half hour of local news....usually to catch the weather report.


Sorry for any typos I'm one handed on my phone while feeding baby.
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Country Kids 02:43 PM 07-20-2012
95% of my toys are open ended and they will play for hours with them. I have lids from different containers and one day they were playing mini disk golf with them and throwing them into wicker baskets I have.

I never hear I'm bored, theres nothing to do, etc.. I do hear can you help me once in awhile when they might need something snapped together but very rarely.
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Countrygal 02:53 PM 07-20-2012
OK, I've only just started this, but I tried it this morning and it worked BEAUTIFULLY!!!

I got this idea from Heidi, who I think got it from here. You can do it with any type of "toy" - baby dolls, blocks, kitchens, whatever. The principal is the same no matter what play tools you use.

This morning I sat down in the play room on the floor, took out the farm animals and some duplos. I started building fences and putting the animals in them. I even built a gate. Pretty soon all the kids were handing me blocks, and I'd tell them "I want this kind of block so I can build..... Or I want "this" kind of block so I can put in a window..... you get the idea. Pretty soon I had one paddock done and I started putting horses in it. Well, they, of course, started throwing all the animals in it. I said, "no, this is my fence. You need to build your own. I built my fence for the horses". Well, pretty soon one kid was building a fence for the pigs and one was building for another animal and pretty soon they had a whole farmyard. After my "horse pasture" was done, I helped the youngest with his pig yard and then just walked away. They kept playing for almost an hour!!! NICELY!!!! And they had like four yards built and tractors out and a place for the pigs to roll in the mud!

I was so pleased with how it turned out. I am definitely using this tactic again. Not all the time, but several times a week until I start seeing them playing nicely on their own or if they start slipping back into old ways.....

Now, when we went outside, that was a whole different story. NOT pretty. I'm tired today!!!
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Country Kids 03:10 PM 07-20-2012
Originally Posted by Countrygal:
OK, I've only just started this, but I tried it this morning and it worked BEAUTIFULLY!!!

I got this idea from Heidi, who I think got it from here. You can do it with any type of "toy" - baby dolls, blocks, kitchens, whatever. The principal is the same no matter what play tools you use.

This morning I sat down in the play room on the floor, took out the farm animals and some duplos. I started building fences and putting the animals in them. I even built a gate. Pretty soon all the kids were handing me blocks, and I'd tell them "I want this kind of block so I can build..... Or I want "this" kind of block so I can put in a window..... you get the idea. Pretty soon I had one paddock done and I started putting horses in it. Well, they, of course, started throwing all the animals in it. I said, "no, this is my fence. You need to build your own. I built my fence for the horses". Well, pretty soon one kid was building a fence for the pigs and one was building for another animal and pretty soon they had a whole farmyard. After my "horse pasture" was done, I helped the youngest with his pig yard and then just walked away. They kept playing for almost an hour!!! NICELY!!!! And they had like four yards built and tractors out and a place for the pigs to roll in the mud!

I was so pleased with how it turned out. I am definitely using this tactic again. Not all the time, but several times a week until I start seeing them playing nicely on their own or if they start slipping back into old ways.....

Now, when we went outside, that was a whole different story. NOT pretty. I'm tired today!!!
Thats great CountryGal!!! Hopefully it keeps going.

Like I've said before mine are all really good at entertaining themselves. Whats funny is they are all only children or the baby of the family. All of them play wonderful and always are finding things to do. I've never had to show them how to play!
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Lawson2 03:27 PM 07-20-2012
I also had the same problem when I nannied full time for a family. The minute we had any downtime, the kids didn't know what to so with themselves. This is because they were overstimulated with after school activities. There was rarely any electronic time in the house, so that wasn't a problem. They took Chinese, piano, flute, karate, etc.... Piano lessons were at 8pm at night! I believe kids need some downtime. I couldn't even make dinner without one of them asking, "What should I do"....
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countrymom 03:42 PM 07-20-2012
I find its that older kids that come here, not my littles who start early with me. They learn to play. My own children are the best with playing. They have the craziest imaginations and they are way older (7 to 14) at one point my ds has been the hamster pet that had to be cared for. Like today, my dd (age 7 almost 8 on friday) was busy all day, painting, coloring, making art, driving me crazy, playing little pet shops...the daycare boy (age 4) didn't want to do anything all day, instead he wanted to watch tv today, and because it was friday I didn't care.
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