Almost two years ago, I decided to stay home because I didn’t want to send my daughter to daycare. I was blessed to find something that I love and could do from the comfort of my home. It’s been a blessing that I never thought could be possible. I’m not going to lie though, the first year was tough. Especially with a baby (at the time) that needed constant attention. My daughter is a toddler now (she will be three this year) and although I thought it would mean more free time to work, having her around me all day has made us BOTH very attached to each other. Over the last few weeks, I’ve researched ways on how to encourage independent play in toddlers and today I’m sharing the things that worked for us. I’m also sharing my secret weapon on how I can focus on work while she’s out of sight during her play time.
How To Encourage Independent Play In Toddlers
One of the reasons I wanted to encourage Jazzy to play alone is because my workload has increased significantly over the last year or so. As much as I LOVE cuddle times, working with a toddler on my lap is no bueno!
Feed their creativity
Things like blocks and puzzles are perfect for encouraging independent play. I have a basket of yarn that she loves to play with. I also like to buy stickers from the dollar store for her. They are super inexpensive but a lot of fun for toddlers.
Have toys that will keep them busy.
With the warm weather, we spend a lot of time outside. Knowing how much she loves playing in the water, I got this water table play set for her. Because it’s one of her favorite things to do, I know once she starts playing she will completely forget that I even exist. I usually sit at the kitchen table and work while she plays with her fountain factory water table.
Let them be!
That was a really tough one for me. Like I said before, I can be pretty clingy myself, and the idea of leaving Jazzy in a room alone made me nervous. This is why I LOVE the Philips Avent Digital Monitor.
My Secret Weapon
Having a monitor is one of the main reasons why independent play is working for us. I can be downstairs washing dishes, and she will be upstairs playing in her teepee tent. Instead of asking her what she’s doing every 5 minutes, I can simply look at the monitor.
The monitor has a 3.5″high-resolution colour screen with 2x digital zoom. It also has a talk back feature and plays lullabies for the little ones. I wish I had one when went through sleep training! Would have made the process less stressful for me (lol).
More amazing features
- Unique handset pairing for a private, secure connection
- ECO mode. The monitor switches the audio and video transmissions off, and the units only connect when the baby makes a sound.
- Customizable temperature sensor
- Indoor range up to 50 meters*, Outdoor range up to 300 meters*.
While researching independent play, I learned that it’s best to start early. I’m two years behind, and I know it’s not something that will magically happen overnight. But I’m optimistic, and so far I’m happy with the results I’m getting. If you are in the same boat, my advice is to be consistent and to get a Philips Avent Digital Monitor so that you can keep an eye on your little one from afar. You got this mama!
Philips Avent is giving an Anti-Colic Bottle with AirFree Vent Essentials Gift Set, valued at $87.99
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Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Media Brand Ambassador Program with Philips Avent, and I received Compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
Gladys Parker says
This would have been so great when my children were small. To let them independently play I had to sneak in very quietly to see what they were doing constantly. This Philips Avent Digital Monitor would make an awesome gift for my son and daughter in law who just closed on a new bigger house while my grandson is only 14 months old and they are planning their second and last (so they say) next year.
great informative post – and also CUTEST unicorn pants ever! xo
I like the secret weapon as it will help monitor while the adults are doing some cooking in the kitchen or hanging clothes outdoor. Good to know there is talk back features and plays lullabies too. With this, I guess parents do not have to stay side by side 24/7.
Czjai Reyes-Ocampo says
I had no idea Avent had baby monitors, too. Having one at home will definitely help parents get things done at home without having to worry about their active toddler. 🙂
What a great monitor, the range is fantastic! We love the water table at our house too, you’re right once my daughter starts playing she hardly notices I exist!
Jennifer Prince says
Letting them be is so important! Let them use their creativity and imaginative play. Great tips!! 🙂
The monitor you’re using to keep watching over your toddler while she is playing independently from you sounds like it works very well.
Sometimes children need to have that playtime alone to help in discovering themselves which they know nothing of and the fact that you have monitor it makes you feel less worried
It is such a challenge to keep up with our little ones growing creativity. And yes, a good monitor goes such a long way.
Elizabeth O says
This is such an interesting read, independent play sounds like a really important step in raising little ones. I like the idea of a video monitor too, that’s such a handy tool to have.
Sara Welch says
That monitor is such a great tool. Your daughter looks really happy and full of life!
what great tips both play and learning so much fun
Esme Sy says
A baby monitor from Philips you say? I trust the brand more than any other electronics name out there if you ask me. Though I’m not in need of this right now, I wish I did before and I’m glad to share this to a friend and her son who’s in the exact situation as your toddler. 🙂
Am currently going through this with daughter. She’s 2 and really won’t play alone but I have do much to do. She keeps running to be for cuddle. I don’t really need a monitor but the other games I’ll try getting something similar.
This is really good! I’m going to send this to my new-parent friends 🙂 I think independent play is so important –– I had tons of it as a kid and grew up pretty independent. x
I think as early as a toddler, a mom should be able to teach them independence. ANd I love the tips you listed on here. They are practical and on point.
Getting our kids to play independently is a chore as well. That looks like an incredible monitor well suited to keep an eye on the kiddos playing
Kristen from The Road to Domestication says
These are excellent ideas! We actually have that water table here and my 21-month-old twin girls LOVE it! They are just getting to the point where they are playing well together – I hope that keeps up!
I never thought my son would learn independence. These tips would’ve helped it become reality so much sooner!
Jessica Joachim says
Independent play is so important! My toddler loves playing with his sister and has been getting a lot better about entertaining himself when alone. A good monitor though is a MUST!
Some good ideas! I always felt play should be self directed for the most part.
This is really good! That monitor is such a great tool. I like the idea very much. Thanks for sharing.
Kids are pretty amazing at coming up with creative play on their own, but anything that aids this process is a winner in my books. Sounds like a great product!
What Corinne Did says
I think when I was a kid, it was much easier to spark creative in kids because we didn’t have all those devices. But you are right, the earlier the better. My parents got me loads of playmobil which got my into creative loads of scenarios for them haha!
Kelli A says
I could not agree more! Fostering independence in our children is critical. Starting young with a personal monitor to help keep your eyes on them while allowing them freedom to learn the world around them without outside influence is how they learn who they are!
Shraddha Tripathi says
I think it is a great work and very creative. I would love to try this for my two yr old daughter.
Kate Andrews says
Oh my God – look at what technology has done – that’s incredible!
As I was reading this, my toddler interrupted me no less than 8 times, lol. I love the water play table, and am going to have to get one for my son. The monitor also looks awesome!
All great tips. I read somewhere that having kids sleep alone as babies helps them become independent as well. Great post
i will pass this article to my friends with small kids, this is really informative for parents.
Tiffany Haywood says
This is such a great way to take the worry out of unsupervised play time. I love it. I wish I had something like this when my Kiddies were younger.
I’ve been very lucky. My girls were all very independent players. I think it’s all about how you handle things when they’re babies.
I love spending time watching toddlers play when ever possible I love to play with as well