Solitary play or independent play is when children play themselves in their early stages for a short period. During this period, they are not ready socially to play with others. Solitary play develops the ability to play, imagine, engage and also develop a sense of self. As a working parent, you may not have time to sit nearby all day with your infant. This is why you should encourage them solitary play in their early childhood .you are just making them strong and preparing them to fight their own battle in later life.
What are the defining features of solitary play?
Solitary play also known as independent play, is the stage when a child starts playing alone. They haven’t developed the skills to play with others. In this stage, children prefer to spend some alone time and not in groups. In solitary play, the child explores different aspects of their surroundings. That means babies start solitary play as soon as they start to focus on any object in their eyesight. When a baby is given any object, he starts to wonder what that is and that object attracts them. Solitary play helps them to learn creativity as they are doing on their own. Solitary playing helps them to play alone without seeking others’ guidance or help.
How the solitary and Parallel Play Differs?
Solitary play is independent play, a child starts it at an early age on the other hand parallel play is when a toddler starts to play with two or more children. In the solitary play, children need some toys around them but in parallel play, children just play adjacent to each other but don’t influence each other. When a child is in solitary play they can learn new personal skills and can learn freely. Parallel play is important for children to develop their speech. As they will meet new babies they will learn new words. Whatever the play is, it is most important to play for the children.
What is solitary and on-looker play?
Solitary play allows a child to play alone and with little interest in the objects nearby them. A child generally starts solitary play from 3month and it lasts 2 and a half of their age. They have less interest in other children and adults. Solitary play is an unstructured play. Even when a child grows and becomes an adult he may continue solitary play. We often play alone solitary games such as mobile games to recharge, reflect or, explore new ideas. On-looker play is the next step to solitary play when children start to show their interest in other children. In this stage, Children will observe how the other children are playing. They will not be involved with others but try to hear other children’s playing conversations. In this stage, children will not get involved with other children due to maybe fear, hesitation, etc.
At What age do babies engage in solitary play?
Solitary play starts at a very early age as babies start to recognize colors and textures. As they grow older they will show more interest in other objects or toys around them. They try to reach the objects and try to interact with them generally babies start solitary play from 3month age, but there are no such rules. All babies are different in nature someone may take some time to reach this stage while someone reaches this stage before the specified time.
Benefits of Solitary play in child development
Each stage of play is essential for a baby to develop skills. Somehow, Independent play is very crucial to developing a child’s creativity. Imagination, etc. The following are some benefits of solitary play:
1. Having fun on their own
When you allow your baby to play by themselves it means there is a great chance to have fun on their own as nobody is involved in this play. This will help your baby not to depend on anyone for their happiness in their life.
2. They will be socially Independent
Solitary play teaches them how to enjoy their own company. They will not depend on anyone for anything in life.
3. Provides a realization of their interests
Every child is different. Some children love to play with utensils, some with cars, some with dolls, and many more. Besides, some of them like dancing, some like singing and some paint with colorful colors.
4. Improves Concentration
In Solitary play, children can develop their concentration as they have complete control over the play and they make their own decisions about the play. Thus, they will focus on a particular object for a longer period of time.
5. Prepare them for school
Going to school is the most significant part of a child’s life. As they are stepping into a new environment, solitary play makes it easier for both the child and the parents to adjust. You can’t be able to stay beside your kid in school so you should prepare them in the early stages to find happiness in their own way. Solitary games teach them to be happy with their own company.
What are the physical benefits of solitary play?
Physical play is important for a child to keep them fit and healthy. Physical play is the type of play that gets your child to move. It can be bigger movements as well as smaller movements. Bigger movements are running and jumping and the smaller movements are picking up something from the floor, walking, etc. Solitary play involves your child in making these movements. Solitary play helps your child be physically active. Here are some physical benefits of solitary play:
- Improves eating patterns
- Good sleep
- A balanced body
How can Parents Encourage their Children to solitary play?
There are numerous ways to encourage your children to solitary play. Some of the ways are:
You should give them space
You should give your child some space and allow him to play with his own choice. If you force him to do something then he will be dependent on you.
Give them the right toys
You must always provide them with the right toys as per their interest such as building blocks, puzzles, and crayons which help them to invent.
Always understand your Child’s Needs
You should understand your child’s psychology and his needs. You should not push them to do something which they don’t like to do.
Let it be Naturally
You should not force your baby into solitary play. The best way is to let it be natural and remember you should not interfere while they are playing. Simply give them control over the play.
What are some Examples of Solitary Play?
Solitary Play activities may vary from one child to another depending upon their aging. Some common examples of Solitary Play are:
- Holding and looking at any object
- Making noise
- Playing with colors
- Looking at a bright color or a picture
- Playing with cars, buses, dolls, etc.
- Playing with puzzles
- Playing with Utensils
Being a parent of a child, nothing is more important than a child’s health. As a parent, you should never leave your child alone while he is playing. You have to spare some quality time with your baby. As he grows older, besides Solitary Play activities you should teach him outdoor activities as well. They will be learning important skills like cooperation and problem-solving.