The Importance of Independent Play

"Becky, will you help me tie this cape?" six year old Marissa asks.

"Sure, honey! What are you up to?"

"Oh, I can't say just yet. I'm not done planning," she responds.

This is typical play at our house -- totally child-created. As these children have matured they have sought positive ways to express their independence including creating their own activities and games and their own style of independent play.

True independent play is child-directed and child-driven, from their ideas to their outcomes. Nevertheless, children developing activities and play scenarios need to know that adults are close at hand. By keeping safe, appealing play materials within easy reach, and granting the freedom to use them, we can help children grow toward independence. The children could access items that were age appropriate and parent/nanny approved. As their interests and abilities developed we increased the items that were available to them.
Becky Kavanagh wrote this article 13 years ago when her charges were very little.  She has now had the privilege of watching the little girl grow into a confident and independent young woman.  Becky's insight into the minds of children is fantastic.  Click here to read the rest of her article posted on Nannies from the Heartland.