Categorize your child's toys into the following two categories:
These will be items that your child can engage with when they are on their own. They should be able to play with them successfully without any help from an adult. For example, a cause and effect toy your child is able to press all of the buttons and levers on successfully or puzzles that your child is able to complete without any help.
These will be items that your child is highly interested in and that you can interact with. Your involvement will make the item even better.
Get containers for the two categories of toys.
When you need to get things done around the house, such as making dinner, tidying or talking on the phone, you will get down the toys that are for independent play and allow your child to play freely with those items.
If your child is small or you feel they are at risk for injuring themselves without you being there to monitor them, we recommend that you get a play pen to put them in with their toys during this time.
It is best to only have 2 toys available to your child during independent play. You could have one book and one toy item. This will encourage appropriate play. You may switch the items at 15 minute intervals.
For the toys that you have identified as most motivating to your child, you will use for proactive play. You want to show your child that wonderful and fun things come through you.
To do this, you will pay attention to when they want a toy and hand it to them.
You see your child looking at the blocks.
You hand them a block and help them build.
You see your child looking at a spin top.
You spin it for them or help them spin it.