Is your home supporting independent play?

Is your home supporting independent play?

This week I shared some thoughts on considering your space and how it might, or might not, be serving the needs of all of your family members right now. Our family has had to reconfigure our space a bit given that we are all sharing the space now 24/7, and what worked for us before is not necessarily working now. We have also found that we are needing to prioritize ways in which we can encourage more independence for Frances!

Now, I’m not talking about reconfiguring your whole home or creating a “picture-perfect” Montessori home. I’m just inviting you to consider whether there are any areas of your home that you might tweak for your child to invite more independence, thus freeing up some time for you. Of course, this doesn’t mean that they will no longer need your or stop seeking connection with you, but, bit by bit, you will find that, with the right environment and with access to the right tools, they will begin to play and do things for themselves increasingly over time. Remember to think in increments. Take one step at a time, and add new elements as your child grows in independence.

Some areas to consider creating or adapting: play area, reading area, bathroom, area for getting dressed, area for serving snack or water, clean up area, and a movement area.

Some key tips:

  • Keep it simple. No need to get fancy. There are some great pieces of furniture out there for children, but a small bench or basket will do the trick as well!
  • Keep it low. All the small stuff is cute, but is serves the purpose of being accessible. Make sure your child can access the items without assistance. Low shelves, low hooks, and a basket on the floor are all great options.
  • Minimize. The less you offer, the better. Less choices, less overwhelm, and less to clean up.
  • Rotate. If your child starts losing interest, replace old items with new items.

How to set up a Space that Invites Kids to Play by Themselves offers some quick tips and videos with advice on how to set up a prepared environment in your home that will foster your child’s independence if you’re wanting to learn more about how to set up your space! And, of course, you have us. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you wanna chat further!

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