Toys That Inspire Kids to experience Individually

 

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Here are 15 awesome toys to encourage independent play. Lewo Wooden Magnetic Easel with Double Side Dry Erase and Chalk Board Puzzle – This set is a clean, fun way for your little ones to be creative and use their imagination. It has both a chalk and white board. Cars.

Small cars are such a fun toy, they can be used for driving around, sorting, stacking and more. Some fun ways to set up children for independent play is setting up a road with painters tape on the floor or a table. Setting up a ramp made out of. Play Kitchen.

This is one of the best toys for independent play you can have, in my opinion. Anytime we go anywhere that has a play kitchen, that is the first and only thing my son wants to play with. And I find the same true for other kids. Play-Doh is a great way for kids to independently create while sharing space and maybe even sharing the Play-Doh!

The “plus” side of Play-Doh Plus is that the compound is brightly-colored, smells sweet and has a different texture than regular play-doh providing stimulating visual, tactile and olfactory sensations during play. For younger kids I definitely recommend Duplo blocks over Mega Bloks. My best piece of advice when it comes to using Lego for open-ended play is to skip the intricate themed sets and stick to the classic brick sets. It’s cheaper and kids have more freedom to build whatever they can imagine.

Children learn best through open ended toys, which offer more play opportunities to children than complex toys. Simple, basic playthings such as blocks, dollhouses, and art supplies have multiple purposes. With simple toys, play is up to the child’s mood and creative interpretation. If you want your child to become an independent thinker down the road, provide plenty of open-ended items for him to play with now, Dr. Troseth recommends.

Objects with multiple uses—like block. Our list of the best kids’ toys includes top-selling and lab-tested toys that are safe and fun. These were handpicked by editors and parenting experts after months of toy testing with real kids. Play is the work of childhood and toys are the tools for play.

The right toys can make or break a child’s ability to play independently – look, I’m not trying to scare you, but toys are a surprisingly big deal. Finding the right toys is everything. RELATED: Curious how I teach my kids? Check out Playing Preschool – my 190 day play-based.

Four-year-old James doesn’t like to play on his own. “He enjoys Lego and building toys, but even then he seems to want an adult to play with him,” says his frustrated mom, Lori Hogan. “He wants to show us his progress every five minutes.” It was the same story at his preschool in St. John’s. “James was constantly looking to the adults around him for interaction,” says Hogan.

List of related literature:

Parents and other providers are encouraged to allow children to play with a variety of toys that foster creative thinking (such as blocks, dolls, and clay), rather than passive toys that the child observes (battery-operated or mechanical).

“Wong's Essentials of Pediatric Nursing: Second South Asian Edition” by A. Judie
from Wong’s Essentials of Pediatric Nursing: Second South Asian Edition
by A. Judie
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2018

Parents and other providers are encouraged to allow children to play with a variety of simple toys that foster creative thinking (e.g., blocks, dolls, and clay) rather than passive toys that the child observes (battery­operated or mechanical).

“Wong's Essentials of Pediatric Nursing9: Wong's Essentials of Pediatric Nursing” by Marilyn J. Hockenberry, David Wilson, Donna L. Wong
from Wong’s Essentials of Pediatric Nursing9: Wong’s Essentials of Pediatric Nursing
by Marilyn J. Hockenberry, David Wilson, Donna L. Wong
Elsevier/Mosby, 2013

Simple toys that foster communication, dramatic play, and interaction are best, including paper and crayons or a chalkboard, a doll house, a few dolls and cars, blocks, clay or Play-Doh, puppets, and toy telephones.

“Handbook of Psychological and Educational Assessment of Children: Personality, Behavior, and Context” by Cecil R. Reynolds, Randy W. Kamphaus
from Handbook of Psychological and Educational Assessment of Children: Personality, Behavior, and Context
by Cecil R. Reynolds, Randy W. Kamphaus
Guilford Publications, 2003

This play then progresses into more manipulative play activities, such as jack-in-the-box toys, press-and-spin toys, ball-and-hammer sets, kaleidoscopes, and other toys that require specific play sequences in order to engage with the toy effectively.

“Evidence-Based Treatment for Children with Autism: The CARD Model” by Doreen Granpeesheh, Jonathan Tarbox, Adel C. Najdowski, Julie Kornack
from Evidence-Based Treatment for Children with Autism: The CARD Model
by Doreen Granpeesheh, Jonathan Tarbox, et. al.
Elsevier Science, 2014

Parents and other providers are encouraged to allow children to play with a variety of simple toys that foster creative thinking (such as blocks, dolls, and clay), rather than passive toys that the child observes (battery-operated or mechanical).

“Wong's Nursing Care of Infants and Children Multimedia Enhanced Version” by Marilyn J. Hockenberry, David Wilson, Donna L. Wong, Annette Baker, R.N., Patrick Barrera, Debbie Fraser Askin
from Wong’s Nursing Care of Infants and Children Multimedia Enhanced Version
by Marilyn J. Hockenberry, David Wilson, et. al.
Mosby/Elsevier, 2013

Building blocks, boxes, baby gyms, books that sound when the characters are pressed, trucks, dress-up dolls, musical instruments, and peg people are all mastery-oriented toys.

“The Optimistic Child: A Proven Program to Safeguard Children Against Depression and Build Lifelong Resilience” by Martin E. P. Seligman
from The Optimistic Child: A Proven Program to Safeguard Children Against Depression and Build Lifelong Resilience
by Martin E. P. Seligman
HMH Books, 2007

Large construction sets, number or alphabet games, crayons, play tools, housekeeping toys, musical toys, pop-up books, large puzzles, and clay are examples of suitable toys for the preschool-age child.

“Leifer's Introduction to Maternity & Pediatric Nursing in Canada E-Book” by Gloria Leifer, Lisa Keenan-Lindsay
from Leifer’s Introduction to Maternity & Pediatric Nursing in Canada E-Book
by Gloria Leifer, Lisa Keenan-Lindsay
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2019

A high-quality yoyo, a deck of cards, “squishy” stress balls, magnetic “paper dolls” with multiple outfits, and small toy skateboards—the miniature type with tools—provide the older child something familiar to create with, play with, fidget with, or comment on as he or she builds rapport.

“Child-Centered Play Therapy: A Practical Guide to Developing Therapeutic Relationships with Children” by Nancy H. Cochran, William J. Nordling, Jeff L. Cochran
from Child-Centered Play Therapy: A Practical Guide to Developing Therapeutic Relationships with Children
by Nancy H. Cochran, William J. Nordling, Jeff L. Cochran
Wiley, 2010

Unlike the playground depicted in Cartoon 3.2, play therapy involves setting up the play area, free of the distraction of other children, with toys that can represent the major forces and players in the child’s life (doll house, dolls, toy pets, toy car, toy bicycle, etc.).

“Introduction to School Counseling” by Robert J. Wright
from Introduction to School Counseling
by Robert J. Wright
SAGE Publications, 2011

Very small cars and trucks, the endurance of dollhouse play, and the numerous “small worlds” (e.g., farm, zoo, shop, train sets) are examples of the inherent interest children have in miniature objects.

“Play from Birth to Twelve: Contexts, Perspectives, and Meanings” by Doris Pronin Fromberg, Doris Bergen
from Play from Birth to Twelve: Contexts, Perspectives, and Meanings
by Doris Pronin Fromberg, Doris Bergen
Routledge, 2006

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Biography: https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/kutluk_oktay/
Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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79 comments

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  • Your thought that children are creative enough on their own without screen time really resonated with me. I don’t have kids, but I have a 2-year old nephew who is already addicted to gaming apps and TV. And you’re right, he gets bored easily with regular play now. It makes me sad, and unfortunately, I don’t think he’s alone…
    Thanks for the tips! ��

  • I’m new in your channel. I watched some of your beauty/makeup videos before and then I forgot about your channel. Now, I’m a mom and practicing minimalism and then found your channel again. This video is a big help for me. My daughter is always “mama” “where’s mama” she always want me to hold her, to be with her. I’ll surely do your tips. Thanks..and stay safe!

  • My kids are grown, but I love your videos. Great advice. What a good child Evey is playing so independently while you record this video.

  • How much quiet time have you built up for when your kids were 2, 3, 4, etc? Just wondering what a reasonable amount of quiet is as a goal.

  • Wonderful post, Hilary!:) Congratulations on the way you’ve raised your daughter. I love watching your videos in large part because of what you share, your personality, and how relatable you are… but some credit does go to Evey becaaaaauuuse she’s so well behaved! I can enjoy your content without feeling like she’s interrupting (because obviously she’s not)… that’s a huge blessing as your audience.:) THANK YOU!

  • Hi Sarah, I love to watch all of your posted videos. Your tips are amazing. I admire you for being so calm and positive, and so cool parent for your children.

  • Great video!! I try really hard to push independent play! But I will sayI do think boys are just different than girls! �� I have two little ones.. Both younger than Evey. And they are full of energy and while they do play together, they also like my attention. Which is normal. But I think boys just have way shorter attention spans than girls do! My mom raised 3 of us girls and 1 boy, and she says us girls were a lot like Evey seems to be natured! ☺️ fairly easy going. She said compared to my two rowdy boys, there is just a big difference between boys and girls! Lol. But I’m trying really hard to help them be able to entertain themselves and use their imagination! Thanks for the tips! I liked the idea of having a toy/toys out when they get up!

  • Hiliary I don’t even have little ones anymore (they are all grown up) but still loved this video! Great tips! Definitely sharing with my friends and family with toddlers. Thanks!!! Hugs and Love Nik

  • I love that you put this out! I have worked with young children from 6 weeks to 3 years for nearly 10 years and I have noticed that this is a hard skill for parents to teach. I see it in the children with not wanting to even explore the room and all the toys unless an adults is leading them each and every time. Then they refuse to play and experience any joy of discovery themselves. They wanted every moment to be teacher lead or they will follow us around crying till they have our soul focus on them. We spend a lot of time on the floor with the children playing with them and engaging in their play but the moment we need to step away it all crumbles apart for them. Even to stand to cross the room for a tissue. I truly wish this value was a top priority in the parenting styles of the families I work with. It would be such a comfort to the children to have the confidence in their own abilities to play and less stress for the caregivers on balancing our responsibilities throughout the day.

  • I recommend to Self-Entertain with reading please! The next best thing to real books… read alouds online! Whether with traditional books or with digital books, children who are exposed to books as much as possible do better in school. It really does help with their reading and writing and overall learning. I see the difference in school.

  • This is so important for us mums and positive for kids too! Getting your kids to play by themselves is such a game changer! I think it helped our kids to be creative without constant entertainment from us, plus it kept me sane!

  • I really needed to watch this today! I always feel I have too high expectations of my son with learning and play. He’s 8 and an only child so looks to me a lot for company and play especially now we’re in lockdown. Thank you for the tips ��

  • Great topic today! I just posted an invitation to build a snowman on Instagram this morning…it would be perfect for you and Evey to do together!

  • 1. Play with them first 5:10
    2. Give them space 5:50
    3. Give them a heads up 6:22
    4. Start with short times 7:06
    5. Rewards & consequences 7:43
    6. Playtime before sleep 9:14
    7. (she said 2) Don’t always be seen 10:32
    8. (she said 3) Don’t overreact 11:07
    9. (she said 4) Reduce electronics 11:49
    10. (she said 5) Declutter toys 12:38
    BONUS Your own quiet time 13:33

    The most eye-opening clarifying thing she said, for me, was in the bonus section( 14:00): “If you’re annoyed with how your kids talk to you, it’s probably because you talk to your kids in the exact same way.” Thinking inwardly I absolutely remember that almost every time that my parents were upset with me for being disrespectful it was because I was talking to them the same way they talked to me (specifically, the way they talked when they were upset). Definitely gonna be more careful about the way I speak to children.

  • I love this. When I had my first born I thought I had to be with her every second of the day. If not I felt mom guilt. Now with my second daughter I see how health it is to have independent play time. How excited is Evey to meet baby sister?

  • If you’re a parent who has your kids in child care, these tips will also help them integrate into a school setting so much easier. I’m a preschool teacher and so many of these tips are things that we often spend teaching these kids because they don’t have it happening for them at home.

  • My daughter was great at this. Independent play came naturally to her. She is 13 now but my son is 4. And I don’t know if it’s a boy-girl thing but he is all about Mommy all the time. He can play independently, but he is much more constantly aware of where I am in the house at all times. He might be playing quietly, then he all of a sudden realizes he doesn’t know where I am and he is always calling for me. Or coming to find me. But, he is much more affectionate to me than my daughter was at this age. And it’s not that she wasn’t loving, it’s just she didn’t need to tell me 24-7 that she loves me. But my son does! Which is nice. Because I am finding that 4 year old boys are much easier than 13 year old girls! So I am enjoying his love fest now because I know it won’t last! Sniff! I should add that I find he is more willing to help than she was. I think that is just a difference in their personalities. Everyday he “makes his bed” and of course it still comes out messy, but I have learned that as long as he is making this a habit, it will last him a lifetime. So I encourage him whenever he wants to help (which is a lot). My daughter hardly ever wanted to help. Somehow she got a messy gene and I’m starting to wonder if she was switched in the nursery. Ha ha! Because I’m such a neat freak. Oh well, we can’t expect our children to be carbon copies of us!

  • Great topic. I love what you shared. It’s good to remember that we don’t need to be there for every single game and that independence is healthy and a vital part of human nature. Sometimes Olivia will just walk away and go to her room to play alone.

  • Everyone was telling me to let my 2 Month old “cry it out” but I hate that idea. Children should know that they are loved and safe and I don’t feel like that method works. I started this method yesterday and she is loving it! We play for a little bit before she goes in her swing with a toy she can hold. Today she was calm for 20 minutes until she needed a diaper change!!! Thank you so much for posting the videos you do! You are an inspiration and I pray that God blesses your family.

  • Great tips! I agree, I find that when my kids and I are connecting and they are getting enough individual attention they are WAY more likely to venture off on their own for independent play.

  • Thank you Amy, lovely video. My little girl is only 22 months but I try to encourage her to play alone for a very short time 3-5 mins. She sometimes will, sometimes she won’t. I find she likes playing with rice, water moving it from one pot/box to another back and forth. She does that in the kitchen while I am quickly trying to cook and she is in her learning tower standing next to me. She is not very good at being totally alone with me not being nearby but that’s ok, she is only little.

  • Watching this because I need smart ways to entertain my niece whenever I have her for many hours and I will try a lot of these with her

    On the subject of decluttering toys what my sister does and I find this so cool, is that she puts toys that are rarely used aside where my niece won’t see them often and if in 2 weeks she doesn’t ask for them that means is ok to donete those toys, she’s the only baby in our family and that means she gets gifts (toys) from all of us often and it can get overwhelming

  • Hi I was just wondering if you have any recommendations on how to help my Lb cope when he gets his hands dirty he really hates it, he loves playing with playdough and doing art but as soon as he gets his hands a bit messy he gets upset Thank you xx

  • My 4 month is so attached to me. She cries when I am cleaning or get things done. If it is a slow day she is all happy and does not cry during the whole day. Lol she loves to be around me all the time. I love her. So I need this! ��������������

  • I loved this video and I don’t even have babies yet! I’ve never really thought about how to help a small child build independence but I love your perspective on it! I’d love a video on what you read/ watched/ learned about when going into motherhood

  • Please don’t delete this videos. My baby is still young. By the time I will for real need this content I will forget it most likely. Thanks for videos like this

  • Hi, I watched the video and toys you recommend. I have a few of those toys. But my 3,5 year old daughter still always ask me to play with her or she is done playing with the toys in 10 minutes. I don’t know if I buy the wrong toys or she just doesn’t like to play alone. How do I figure out the right toys for my daughter which she can play with by herself. She doesn’t like dolls or barbies ����‍♀️she does likes role play. Being a witch, Elsa, the police or a monster…

  • This was so interesting, I’m kind of scared of being a bad mom one day. I am not very patient and easily annoyed, so I don’t know how I will fare. I really hope I can do a good job of raising happy and healthy kids, though. To all the mothers reading this: How did you learn the things you know now?

  • My six month old baby always want me to be carrying him and with just one second of me putting him down he starts crying like crazy �� so I have to be carrying him a lot so he won’t cry

  • great tips! I have a 2 year old daughter and she likes playing but with me. haow can i encouraged her to play alone for a while? do u talk to your girl or explain how to do it?
    kisses & love from ARGENTINA!

  • Hey Sarah, thanks for the video, very encouraging!

    I would love to see a day in the life of your kids, to get an idea of their routines!

  • Ouch.. You ar so right, but this video made me to look the truth in the eyes. My kid needs way too much my attention and that screen time… we need to start train her…

  • My 5 year old can not independently play, even for a couple of minutes. He is intense constantly at having someone playing / learning/ crafting etc right next to him.
    The only thing he will do alone I’d screen time and will go in the garden (with the dog) xx

  • I would say also stay off your phone, don’t watch Ticktock or YouTube while sitting on the couch, or worse have your children watch them with you. My children loved children’s music playing and the kind that they could sing along too. I did not have many toys for my children and those they had they loved. One doll, one play kitchen, dishes etc. A sensory table that you can change is great, fill it with rice, beans, water etc. Just know there will be plenty of time as your kids grow that you can be alone, cherish them when they are little.

  • Loved this, my little boy is only 2 and loves it when I play with him but will definitely try these when he is a bit older. Really fab video xxx

  • Thank you Dana for very practical ideas. My daughter turned one year few days back, and started going nursery`too. today was 7th day, of course not full day, just one or two hours, mostly in my presence. In the home and nursery too she just revolves around me, she does not play by her own. I try to bring her new toys, games and I try my best to get her play by herself. But she does not, hardly few minutes. In the nursery there are lot of toys of different varieties, around 10 other children aging 0-2. But there too she hardly finds interest in anything. She just play a minute and come back to me. Other children are playing around, even 10 months old baby is also playing by himself, in presence of his father. But my daughter dont. I am so worried because of all this. I cant work freely, I am so depressed, I dnt know what should I do to get her play by herself. Can you help me please.

  • A german youtuber said, that this kind of entertainment starts already when they are babys. When you see you baby is playing with its feet you should not interrupt them.

  • Great video, really wanna try to implement quiet time and reduce the tv, we don’t do a lot tv but I still think it can be less. Could you do a video on the toys your kids have? Or recommended toys for each age group? Or maybe your kids favorites? And perhaps mention when you do quiet time, tv time, etc…

  • Great tips Hilary! Love the tip about screen time too. Especially about limiting our own screen time in front of the kids. I had a revelation one day about saying I didn’t want Miriam on the iPad and that she should play with something else. As I was on my phone! A lightbulb went off and I was embarrassed with myself �� Modelling modelling modelling. A wake up call for sure:)

  • Love this! Especially #5, I agree. It is wonderful to learn colors and numbers and such from videos, but they also need to learn and apply what they learned through hands on activities. Kudos to you for being such a good mom!!

  • Loved this Amy. I honestly struggle with my kids playing independently and they are 8 and 5! Though I think not being at school and having that daily structure is having an impact at the moment. They are craving structure and adult led activities right now, but it’s obviously not possible all the time. Xx

  • As someone who is a mom to be, I am in love with these values and this video for help in the future. Thank you thank you thank you!!

  • Oh lord please please do a potty training video!!:) I trust your opinion on mothering and we have pretty much the same views on religion, life, etc…ANYWAY lol please help another mom out here because I am tired of seeing the sticker method or the m&m method (not that those are bad but I dont agree)

  • Just wondering if you have thoughts…my swwt girl is 10 months old and likes to play alone a lot but i worry i let her do it to much..so how much is too much independent play

  • I dont have kids but I always love all of your videos and advice!��I agree with all of your parenting advice!�� also I’m always trying to take baby steps to be healthier (body mind spirit)!��

  • Awesome tips!! Independent play is super important! I’m really trying to foster that in my daycare kiddos and of course Celia but she is sick and teething right now so it’s a little harder! Yesterday was wonderful though with the daycare kiddos they played with playdoh for almost an hour and I got some hamburger cooked up for lunch and some cleaning done! We were singing to Disney songs at the same time so still interacting a bit but I wasn’t playing with them they were creating on their iwn

  • This is awesome advice! I’m a primary teacher. Kids that can play independently definitely have an advantage when they get to school.

  • i’ll be a mum by summer and this video is so helpful, to create health habits for baby and myself as a family. thanks you very much for this advice. saving the video to watch more later on again

  • Hi,Sarah!
    Its Cyprus on line:) I’m mom of two kids and so much in common we have in way of life and understanding what is really important for us, our children and family. Love to watch your videos and please continue to do what you do..its so encouraging to the others to change their habits and start to think better way to declutter their minds!!! �� I do pick up some very useful tips from you and thank you for this! ������

  • You could try to not be so preachy. There are tons of moms out there that are not self employed nor work from home. It is not that simple.

  • I’ve noticed Evey is great with independent play, thanks for sharing your tips Hilary! Is there any way you could share how you keep your home so clean with a toddler at home? I’m struggling to find something suiting!

  • I have a 5 year old boy. When he was little he didn’t leave me for 5 mins. Then I kept on encouraging him playing with different toys and I noticed he loves building. So I bought him various lego and playmags and small furniture and that’s what keeps him engaged ��

  • I’m 30, married for a year, always wanted a big family, but am now starting to realize I’m terrified of having children because I’m scared I’ll be tired all the time and that my life will be over and that my entire existence will be for my children etc etc. Thank you Sarah for having and sharing with us such a healthy perspective on motherhood! ����❤️

  • We did this with our oldest when she was 2+ as preparation to deal with 2 kids, as I was expecting the next one. It made the transition a breeze. She’s almost 5 now and actually loves playing alone now. If we forget to let her know, she asks if she can go play alone in her room.

  • I just don’t understand why would someone choose the word “train” for their children, instead of “teach”… people even stopped using it for dogs, so let alone little humans?

  • I don’t have children but I do work in youth group homes. Often the children I work with come from homes that aren’t structured, so quiet time is one of the things we introduce first day. It is trial and error but often they enjoy the quiet time and routine thats been implemented. From infants to young adults, they know in the home we do quiet time.

  • I appreciate the content independence is so critical in parenting! Though I have just 45 subscribers now, I hope my latest video on raising my son to be responsible & in turn independent reaches people & makes people reflect on fostering independence as this video does. Thank you again for the perspectives.

  • Thank you for highlighting the part were KIDS ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS. You are the PARENT, they have friends in school! Rules and BOUNDARIES must be set and CLEAR!

  • YES to all of this! People are always so impressed when I say we have 90 minutes of uninterrupted rest time EVERY day. No talking to Mama and Daddy. Training works people! Be the parent! Listen to your girl Sarah. GREAT video! xoxo

  • I really appreciate this reinforcement that I’m doing a good job! My son is nearly 9 months and he already does some quiet time by himself at several different points in the day. I started it because I really felt like I needed the time (first time mama at 35 means a lot of adjustment!)…but then I was feeling guilty as though I was ignoring him. But seeing him amuse himself, even when I’m in the same room, is so rewarding! I adore peeking at him over my book and watching his brain work out something new, or hearing him vocalize different sounds and then laugh at himself. hearteyes “Great peace have they which love thy law…” “Train up a child in the way he SHOULD go…” Thank you for your channel!

  • Hi Sarah! In light of the COVID-19, for moms who are not used to work from home with kids around, could you make a tips and tricks video? Thank you so much, love your videos ��♥️

  • I love these tips and would love to start implementing them with my 1 yr old boy. Unfortunately we have gotten into the habit of rocking him to sleep any tips on how to get little ones to go to sleep on their own?

  • Great video idea and tips! I really struggle with this with my 5 year old. He seems to need constant attention. Your tip to have a special toy for independent play time is brilliant!
    Thank you ❤️

  • Why am I watching this I haven’t even had a boyfriend yet in my life ��

    Anyway if I was raised like this gurl. So smart I’m crying ��❤️

  • Your vlogs are amazing!
    Want to know how much screen time is fine.
    My younger one is 10 years, he tends to get angry too soon…..plz suggest how to calm him, he watches lots of tv can that be the reason for his anger?

  • I’m not American so excuse me if this is a dumb question. Do you come from a similar area from HowJenDoesIt? I notice you both tend to cut out the middle sound of words. I had to put back the video several times to hear you say “eaten”. “Ea-Ann”. Made me chuckle.

  • Have you always provided independent play for Evey? My daughter is 22 months and seeing this, I feel like I may have missed the boat on this because I play with her alot and she expects me to all day long. I do have her help with cooking and cleaning and laundry a bit, but I never set a time every day with prepared items for her to play wtih. I think that keeping toys put away, out of their reach, then taking out certain ones at certain times may work. But also gathering some Montesorri manipulatives and not just toys sounds like a good idea too.

  • I thought this was great and I don’t even have kids. What are your thoughts on helping other people’s kids. I work at a chiropractic office and have a lot of people needing a few minutes on therapy but their kids won’t stop bugging them. They can’t relax and I end up as babysitter.

  • Hi Sarah! With social distancing going on, could you post or send me a sample schedule of your day? I have a one year old who usually stays home with a nanny. Now that I’m home all the time, I am in need of some structure for my son. Thank you! I am inspired by your videos!

  • So much of what you talked about is an important part of home school! Yesterday, Liam was so sick I just kept movies going all day. Both the kids and I felt like zombies! Today, we are doing more puzzles, coloring, making crafts. We take “breaks” and I’ll put on a PBS show. This is working so much better!

  • Brilliant video!! My little girl is 5 in September and shes an only child and struggling with no playschool and being realistic so am I sometimes �� Plus i know the socialising side of things just isnt the same with mummy and daddy as it is with her wee friends �� Willows style of independent play is pulling everything out and not play with it�� However after watching this she might just be overwhelmed with the amount of toys!! Awesome tips thank you �� x

  • Thank you, Sarah, for the video! There are so many things I just have to stop doing. I can see now that my parenthood methods are completely wrong. Every single minute my children are with me: we’re cooking together, my younger child comes to sleep with me every night, I go to the bathroom, they are at the door, they cannot play without me, they cannot study without me. And even though I love my children, we all need some time to be alone or do some work. This video is very encouraging

  • Hi Hilary!!! great tips sometimes it is nice to hear that you are not neglecting your children when you let them play on their own 😉 xo Carla

  • I absolutely loved this! I bought some super simple sensory style items (think boxes, cups, rocks, and rice) and it’s been a complete game-changer in the way my toddler plays. The more she plays with those simple “toys” the less she asks for tv, she’s more easily self-entertained, and there’s been a lot less whining and complaining going on. It’s amazing how much tv and over-stimulating toys can effect our children!

  • This video reminded me that my sister and I shared a room and when we had to go to bed and weren’t tired we naturally started playing guessing games with each other while we were laying in bed waiting to get tired. ��

  • It blows my mind that you became a mom at such an young age and is still so wise and so loving and intentional. You truly were born to be a mom! Your videos about child development are amazing! I’m not even a mom myself and I learn so much from them! Keep up the incredible work you’re doing here!! Xoxo

  • This is best tip I have heard about distracting a crying whining child. Start singing the ABC song or Old McDonald had a farm, a song that they know and try to sing themselves. Kids can’t resist it.

  • I agree with alot of this for typical kids. Kids coming from trauma may have things to work through BEFORE, if ever, these things are implimented

  • I love this. When I have children I’ll be sure to come back to this video! HOWEVER, some of the tips you gave such as the tip to not let your newborn/toddler see you for long periods of time especially in very young infantile ages may cause their attachment type to become more insecure-avoidant than secure, which is what you’re aiming to produce. A newbie is born with the innate need to be close to their mother so that they feel safe and secure and loved! If you deny that from them too often it can cause the early attachment to break down and you could then become more of a secondary caregiver than the primary. It’s just a thought:) otherwise I love your videos Sarah, you’re one of my biggest inspirations♥️