We pay attention to the Stages of Play with child : child but not with adult : child play. In the home I believe it is important to give kids ‘their space’ in the way of parallel and solitary play. They need to know you are close by but not infringing on their exploration of independent play. Each age group differs in the amount of supervised but distant ‘space’ required. I measure it in intervals:
8 – 12 months – 2 minutes
1 year olds – 3 minutes
1.5 year olds – 4 minutes
2 year olds – 5 minutes
2.5 year olds – 6 minutes
3 year olds – 7 minutes
After the interval is over I usually interact by either joining in on the play, sometimes parallel sometimes socially. I ask them questions about what they are doing and offer some help if they need it. Frequently we move onto a new activity altogether as they have gotten an idea of something else they want to do. In this case I check on what they are up to and move onto another age appropriate interval.
During these intervals of observing and supervising from a distance I am setting up more play activities, preparing food or completing household duties.