Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How to encourage free play while waiting at the doctor

Princess has started speech therapy.  She mispronounces her C’s and G’s, and while I think it’s adorable she’s starting to get frustrated with people not understanding her.


So, every week she goes and “plays with Aunt Tara” for 30 minutes while the boys and I sit and wait.


small toys for the doctor's office

Every week I remind the boys before we head out to pick up something to play with.  They’ll pack a small “suitcase” full of Legos, or mini-figures.  The picture up above is their colonial action figures and some of our gaming figures.


playing at the doctor's office

Then you train them.  If they’re not used to playing on their own while waiting, then set timers.  Have them play on their own for a few minutes, and then do something with them.


playing on their own

I’m proud to say that I can now take my kids with me into the church office and work on making copies for something for 20 minutes and not worry about them playing with things on people’s desks, or interrupting them.


reading on their own

This wasn’t an immediate result.  It took time, and patience, and a lot of reminders.  But, I have high expectations for my kids.


I expect them to be able to interact with adults and answer their questions intelligently (and there are times we’re still working on that one).


I expect them to be able to sit at a dinner table with adults and be able to participate or wait patiently.  That may mean they need to figure out how to entertain themselves quietly.


I expect them to wait or play in a way that’s appropriate for where they are.  If we’re at an office or the library, they are quiet (usually).  If we’re at a playscape or playground they can be as loud as the next child.


growing happy kids

They are high expectations, but you know what?  My kids are happy, and they are loved and they know they are loved.  So, I think they’re good expectations.

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