Independent Play Modern parents spend a large amount of time actively entertaining their children with engaging toys, screens, and lots of one on one quality time. None of this is inherently bad, but at some point, we find ourselves needing a breather, maybe to start lunch, maybe just to sit with a cup of tea. A child who is used to being actively entertained every moment may have issues with allowing you the space to do this. Everyone needs quiet time, even children. Children who play independently are often linked to performing better in school and having better mental health as adults. Playing solo can help children to learn patience and problem-solving skills, reducing their anxiety later in life by giving them the confidence to know they can do things by themselves. It can also help reduce the dreaded… BOREDOM! Is boredom even bad? Absolutely not. Boredom is an essential step in the process of sparking the imagination, creativity is born from boredom. Our job as a parent is not to remove the possibility of feeling any negative feelings or times of frustration, rather to help our children navigate that. As children, we mostly remember what came after boredom – digging in the garden, climbing trees, putting on a puppet show with dolls, we found ways to entertain ourselves. Bringing it outdoors… Nature is the world’s best playground – the possibilities are endless! The look, feel, and smell of the outdoors is always changing with the weather and the season, and children find it a lot easier for independent play outdoors, so it’s the best place to start. When you go to your park or local woods, set the boundaries with your child and section off an area where they can climb, jump in puddles, pull grass, gather branches, whatever they please. Are you up for the challenge? Let our new printable activity guides inspire you. Week 2 is a fabulous open-ended activity to spark a nature-based "scavenger hunt." Click here to Download This post is part of our larger toddler and nature series. Please stay tuned for more and check out our Welly Waddlers Workshops, where you can see the benefits of hands-on nature-play first hand with your little one. To find out more or to enquire please contact us at [email protected] or on 063 91300.