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It is common for parents of only children to seek fun and engaging ways to keep their children entertained. While we pursue new and fun activities to keep children stimulated, we must understand that solo play can hugely benefit their cognitive development. Let us dig deep and explore what the benefits are.
Encouraging participation in self-directed play activities can help foster a child’s growth and advancement. Although playing games with your child is essential, we should also know when to give children space to independently develop their imagination and creativity. When given the freedom to explore autonomously, children can learn many valuable lessons they will be able to carry with them throughout their lives. Your child becomes a well-rounded individual who is happy in large crowds, small groups, or alone.
Children have an early and vital need for independence. “I can do it myself!” they exclaim. Providing opportunities for self-directed playtime can do wonders for your child’s growth and development. Your child’s imagination and creativity will flourish. They will also be more equipped to solve problems, think critically, and make sound decisions.
To help Kiddipedia with the essential tips to promote self-directed play for an only child, we enlisted the advice of our friends at Gazillion Bubbles. Known for their world-leading range of bubble products, Gazillion Bubbles’ mission is to help create unforgettable playing experiences for children. For almost 20 years, they have produced premium bubble products, including wands, solutions, and bubble machines. Together, we canvass excellent tips to promote the self-directed play.
Let’s dive in!
What is “self-directed play”, and why is it important?
When children are not instructed what they should be doing but are given the freedom to pursue their own ideas and interests, this learning is self-directed play, also known intrinsically as open-ended play or motivated play. During self-directed play, children can experiment with whatever materials and objects are at hand.
Research has shown that free play has countless positive effects on the brain and can even be viewed as a form of brain training. Every child’s life depends on their ability to think, feel, interact socially, and move freely, which self-directed play fosters. Take a look at the positive outcomes of children engaging in unsupervised play.
It stimulates the imagination.
During free play, children naturally express their imaginations. In doing so, we are letting children exercise their creativity and contribute to the world in new and exciting ways. As they play, they will come up with their scenarios and ideas for a plot that no one else could have thought of. The new Gazillion Bubbles products fit perfectly here. The Gazillion Bubbles Tornado bubble machine will provide hours of entertainment for children. Fill the reservoir with the free bubble solution and turn on the machine to release a dazzling cascade of floating bubbles. Children’s imaginations will be sparked when they observe bubbles formed into various shapes.
Children can learn at their own pace.
Time constraints or curricular requirements do not restrict independent play. Every day, children can learn new things and expand on what they already know in ways that make sense to them. Children can produce a sudden and spectacular display of bubbles in the air with the Gazillion Bubbles Spinnin’ Bubbles bubble wand. They can instantly create a blizzard of bubbles by dipping the wand inside the Gazillion bubble solution and spinning it. These bubbles foster the freedom to play as one pleases. When making bubbles, the child can choose the shapes and sizes of bubbles they want to create.
It cultivates internal motivation.
If parents don’t dictate what constitutes a “good” activity, children will be free to pursue their definitions of fun. They will take pleasure in pushing themselves to try novel, ground-breaking ideas because they genuinely like doing it. Young children can enjoy hours of play with Gazillion Bubbles Premium Bubble Solution. This bubble solution has won awards since it is non-toxic and doesn’t leave stains, and it makes bubbles of many sizes that hold their shape for a long time. By experimenting with blowing bubbles into different forms, children will feel motivated.
Being involved with self-directed play
Self-directed play doesn’t have to involve being alone. Self-directed play is beneficial because it helps children feel like they have a say in their environment. During playtime, you can assist your child or stay near them so they feel assured that you are around them. You can also play with your children but let them take the lead instead of instructing them.
Tips to promote self-directed play for an only child
Be Patient When Supervising Play
Allow your child some time to figure out how to use an item on their own or how to describe a game to you without your assistance. Since you are a responsible adult, you can locate objects more quickly and put them together correctly. Allow your youngster to take charge, but be there to assist as needed. Your child may feel more confident after realising how much they can accomplish without you hovering over them.
Once the time is over, give your undivided attention to your child again and show genuine curiosity about what they did. Give them a lot of compliments for their independent play and the task they have completed. Praising your child will motivate them to continue doing well and improving themselves.
Use a balance of closed and open-ended toys.
Toys with multiple possible uses are called “open-ended toys,” including building blocks and dress-up outfits. They do better than traditional toys encouraging autonomy, originality, and imagination. Books and puzzles are great for a child’s growth despite being closed-ended toys. Using a balance of both can help encourage self-directed play.
Sit Back and Enjoy!
Children’s independence in self-directed play also means they have more time to finish their work. Still, you’re welcome to sit close by, right next to, or even with your child. Let children take charge of their learning and discovery of the world around them.
Get your hands on the premium Gazillion Bubbles.
Gazillion Bubbles has been the go-to brand for innovative, high-quality, eco-friendly bubble products for nearly twenty years. With their premium bubble solution and bubble toys, you’ll be able to encourage self-directed play. Their products are easy to use, making them perfect for children new to playing independently. Children can create larger, brighter, and more vibrant bubbles with their premium bubble solution. Visit their product pages to learn more about what they offer.