Structured Playtime

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There is some confusion as the the distinction between each of the playtimes described in the -wise series. This article discusses Structured Playtime. Structured playtime as defined in On Becoming Babywse II (page 71) is simply independent playtime where mom chooses the toys played with and the time it is done.

In On Becoming Toddlerwise (page 49), it progresses. Mommy picks the activity and the time it happens. This is a good skill because the child needs to learn that he can’t always choose the activity. Once your child gets to school, he will have very little freedom about what he does and when he does it. Structured Playtime can be playing puzzles or coloring. It can really be any activity. I would choose an activity that is going to require some concentration and focus. I believe this can be something done in teh presence of others. Perhaps you are making dinner while your child colors at the kitchen table. You can also have all of your children color together. You can have your children play in the yard together. You can overlap structured playtime and sibling playtime. When you instruct your children to play with each other, they can develop important social skills. If your child is resistent to structured playtime, you can start with short increments of time and work up–using a timer.

In On Becoming Preschoolwise (page 97), the rules for structured playtime are the same as in Toddlerwise. Mom chooses the activity and the location of the activity.

I view this activity much like free playtime. It is a good activity for you to turn to when making dinner or other chores. It is good practice time for preschool and on.

See these posts for more on other playtime activities:

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