Being able to choose their own activities and style of playing encourages Your Child’s independence and creativity.
Free play is child-led playing and makes up an essential part of their development, so essential in fact, that the United Nations recognizes play as a basic right of every child. Parents and teachers often feel like they should join in or try to help during free play, but it is important that we take a step back and allow them to make their own choices and give them an opportunity to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
What to prepare
There is no need to prepare anything for free play as Your Child will make their own choices!
Allows Your Child to choose the activity, it can include drawing, painting, physical activities, reading, building blocks, lego, role play, and anything else that the little one can imagine and create. Simply give Your Child the choice by offering the different toys or just spreading everything out. Note that screen time isn’t generally included as a part of free play.
Avoid interruptions and distractions such as turning on the television or asking questions. Wait to be invited to play and avoid immediately offering solutions when Your Child faces a problem. An invitation to play may not be obvious at first and can include actions such as pulling a funny face at you or bringing you toys to show you.
Thank you note
This article about learning through play was made in collaboration with Sprouts Kindergarten, a play-based learning center for children ages 1.5 – 6 years old.