Friday, September 3, 2010

When and Where

When



It is important to use your time wisely! Do not choose your Structured Play time when your little one is tired, fussy, hungry or otherwise. Saying that, you should know that the best time might not be the same time everyday or even everyday at all. This needs to be a fun, one-on-one time so make sure there are no distractions. (Phone off)

You should plan your
Structured Play time for only 5 to 15 minutes at first. Then as things progress, adjust accordingly. Remember it is play time so as soon as your little one shows signs of loss of interest or frustration move on to something else. Do not push it!

Where



Ideally, you want to find a spot for Structured Play that is out of the normal path of traffic. It should be a spot that your little one does not solo play everyday. The rationale is that this spot should be 'special' for Structured Play. A time when little one gets to play one-on-one and receives full attention. Now that being said, I understand that this cannot always be the case. Depending on your living situation and other children. You want to try to set it up somewhere where there are not other toys, T.V., or people to distract from your goal. On the other hand, some activities will call for distracting situations. (Outings, group play, etc.) So use your best judgement.



After your
Structured Play time do not leave the activity out for your child play with daily. This should be an item that is 'special' so that it does not turn into an old standby toy. You can put items into general rotation once your little one has mastered the desired skill or once you feel the activity has become routine. Remember repetition is very important so you want to play with the same items for a prolonged amount of days. Then once the skilled is mastered it is a good to put the item (if appropriate) into their play items so that they continue to use the skill on their own. For example, if you follow a monthly theme keep the items you use for Structured Play separate for the entire month then you can allow your little one to use them on his/her own. If a skill is not mastered within that month continue working on the skill but perhaps change the item used to practice the skill in accordance with the next month's theme. 

You want to see a smile on the face of your little one when you go to this space or when you pull out the activities. You want this to be a exciting, inspiring time of learning and exploration. 

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