The Need for Children to Play Alone

JANUARY 27, 2020

People usually act differently when they feel someone is watching them. Children will also play differently depending on if someone is watching them or not. Children need time to let their imaginations run wild and to learn how to exercise their own choices during play (PBS). During play, children are able to be themselves and really learn and grow in their own environment. 

Playing alone will also help the child become more independent. They will be more comfortable in social situations and be able to control and understand their emotions and even learn patience and impulse control (Giannini). From this, they will begin to learn their identity and find out more things about themselves.  

For example, if the child were to build a block tower and then they accidentally knock it down, this would teach the child that they must be the ones responsible for the fallen tower and that if they want it built again, they would need to build it. 

This is not to say that children should always play alone. There is a good balance to be found with individual playtime and playing with others.

The child may take some time getting used to independent play if it has not already been presented in their life. As a parent you can make sure that the environment is comfortable for them to be content and happy, so they will be comfortable playing on their own. It may take some time for your child to adjust. Make sure to never interrupt and barge in on the child if they are content and happy with their solo play. After some time, your child will be playing happily on their own and reap the benefits of playing alone!


Public Broadcasting Service. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Stop the Mom Guilt-It’s OK for Your Child to Play Alone. (2019, October 3). Retrieved from

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