Monday, November 7, 2011

Play Alone Time

I recently resumed "Play Alone Time" at my house.  I don't know exactly how we got off track, I think it happened about 20 months ago when I had my son Noah.  Life becomes very unscheduled when you have a newborn.

So we started "Play Alone Time" this last week and I had forgotten what a huge blessing it is!  
If you don't know what I mean by Play Alone Time, it is a time when your child or children go in their rooms for a certain amount of time and play by themselves.

We just started with my son Noah (20 months old) and this is how I've been doing it.  I put Noah in his crib, with toys that I reserve only for play alone time.  I put in a cd with classical music for him to listen to.  I started with 10 minutes, since he didn't really know what was happening.  He squawked and then proceded to throw every toy out of his crib on day 1.  The next time I bumped the time up to 15 minutes, then 20 minutes.  He is getting used to the idea, we are on about day 5 and he stayed in his crib playing happily for about 40 minutes before I heard the toys crashing to the floor.

My goal is to make it up to an hour.  This buys me sometime to get some schooling done with my other kids without interruption.   It is also very good for Noah because it gives him time to concentrate on what he is doing.  No one is grabbing toys from his hands or "helping" him.  He also is babbling a lot during this time, I guess because no one else is talking :)

Ethan and Hannah have already been trained in play alone time.  Since Ethan and Hannah share a room, I have Ethan go to their room and Hannah plays in the living room.  I give Hannah play dough or a coloring sheet or stickers to play with and Ethan is content to play with Legos.  I have their Play Alone Time during Noah's afternoon nap.  

If you are going to try this make sure it's not near nap time for a younger child.  I've been putting Noah in his crib about a hour and a half after breakfast.  

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