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How to Set Up A Space That Invites Kids to Play By Themselves

In this post, we are sharing a few short videos with techniques for fostering independent play at home.

When our little ones play on their own, they build up their capacity to concentrate, an important life skill! Even babies can develop their capacity to focus — through practice.

One of the keys to inspiring a child to play without you is inviting them to choose their own materials. Watch these two videos to learn more about how to make independent play a reality in your home.

The first video is from the Parent Learning Center that our subscribers get. Parents who sign up for the Monti Kids program receive a box of authentic Montessori toys along with access to a 3-month online course made up of short videos and readings.

WATCH: How to Set Up Your Play Space for Toddlers

In summary:

  • Place a small number of toys or materials for exploration (household objects like strainers or socks are great!) within reach of your child.
  • Put the rest of your toys out of sight, rotating them in and out over time.
  • Model how to take something off the shelf and put it back when you are done playing with it.
  • A baby who plays on their tummy or in the sitting position will play on a mat on the floor; a child who pulls up to a stand can begin to use a small chair and table to play.

WATCH: Why A Clutter-Free Play Space Can Encourage Independent Play

A clutter-free environment helps your child play independently. In the next video, a member of the Monti Kids Learning Team will show you how to make this happen in your own home.

At every level, Monti Kids subscribers learn to set up an age-appropriate play space for their little ones. See the video we send out for Week 1 of Level 3 (7-10.5 months) of the Monti Kids program and see how it works for babies.

WATCH: Setting Up Your Play Space For Babies

In the Montessori approach, we call this “preparing the environment”, which simply means being mindful of our children’s surroundings. When we prepare their environments, we set them up for success in focusing, which results in longer stretches of independent play.

“How do I get my child to play by themselves?” is a common parenting question. The Monti Kids® Program will support your family to practice this skill so that it becomes a rewarding dynamic in which the parent presents the child with discovery opportunities and the child pursues practice and repetition of skills on their own.

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Montessori for ages 0-3. Learn more about how we enable Montessori learning at home.

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