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Self-directed play for young children

TIME: Less than 30 Minutes

Growing up my mom and dad always taught me the importance of appreciating what toys I did have. I did not need any fancy electronic gadget to feel good about myself or a very expensive toy. instead for the most part I made the toys myself together with my parents and it game me an incredible sense of accomplishment. When my parents did not have time to play with me they would guide me through self-directed play, I would play with dolls, sand dumping little trucks, dress-up or even pretend to have a store.

Today we live in a world in which everything is moved by electronics, and so our children dedicate more and more time to playing with such toys rather than learning toys. I am not saying that electronic toys are bad, but many of them do lack educational value, leaving our children with problems like obesitity due to inactivity, educational problems such as lack of concentration and always wanting the next best thing.

In my humble opinion such attitudes can be overcomed if we teach our children about using their imagination and actually doing more physical and creative play. But we must be part of that as well. I understand that it is easy for a parent to plug in the TV or a video game, rather than sitting down to play and in this busy world of ours I think must parents do… Now a days in most households both parents work and it is rather difficult to find time to play with our young children, but there is a way. By using toys that allow children to do self-directed play (playing alone with guidance of their parents).

Here is a small list of toys your child my find interesting and I assure you they will play for hours and learn as they play!

* Balls
* Barn & Animal Set
* Books
* Bubbles Set
* Cars and Trucks
* Cleanup Toys (Broom, Mop, Iron, Dustpan, etc)
* Doctor Play Set
* Dolls
* Dress-up items
* Grocery Cart + Plastic Food Items
* Kitchen Play Set
* Lego Blocks
* Play Money
* Play Wooden Blocks
* Playdough
* Puppets
* Puzzles
* Ride-On Toys
* Sand Box + Sand Box toys
* Shape Sorting Cube or Pale
* Stuffed Animals & Dolls
* Tops
* Toy Airplane
* Toy Camera
* Toy Lawn Mower
* Toy Phone
* Wooden Tools Set
* Wooden Train

So print out this list and talk to your child about which toys he/she would like to play with. Do not settle for just video games. Video games are nice, but everything in moderation. Children need to develop both their bodies and minds.



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