Some toddlers are more interested in playing on their own rather than in a group. This phenomenon is scientifically called Parallel Play.
Parallel Play is not necessarily a bad thing, it just means that your child is not ready to build group social relationships yet. So, this type of play is necessary as it helps them improve required social skills.
Below are a few tips and tricks that Dettol Professionals compiled to help keep your little one happily occupied:
Identify a suitable playmate for your child by observing them at daycare or nursery. If you feel that they have a particular friend they tend to spend time with, set up a playdate so they can have more fun together.
You may notice that your toddler could get along with an older child and not necessarily someone their own age.
Keep the playdates to a minimum frequency and limit them to one friend at a time. Kids tend to feel overwhelmed and ignored in a group, and toy sharing will become more difficult in one.
For the first playdate, one hour should suffice. Once your little one gets used to the idea and warms up to their friend, you could extend the session to two hours.
Playdates usually include food or snacks, so it would be best to ask the parents or daycare supervisors about any allergies or preferences a day ahead.
Put your toddler’s favourite toys away before the playdate. They might be able to accept the concept of sharing in general, but when it comes to one of their preferred toys, it might prove to be more difficult.
Spend some time with the children to help them get started in a joint activity until they’ve gotten used to one another and begin to play autonomously.
When they’re done with one activity, help them clean themselves up before moving to the next one, and make sure you use a dependable antiseptic such as Dettol handwash, or alternatively a sanitizer or hand wipes* in the absence of a wash basin.
If you feel they are not getting along, try not to interfere. Allow them to resolve the issues themselves and only intervene if it escalates. At this stage, it's wise to end the playdate early.
Always stay close to where the kids are playing.
Keep antibacterial wipes at your disposal to clean visibly dirty surfaces and their hands to ensure they are protected from germs.
Ending the playdate might prove to be tricky. Give them some time to finish their game, and prepare them for it gradually by saying things like: “You have five more minutes.” Don’t drag the goodbyes for too long, especially if one of the kids is upset that the other is leaving.
In case you are outside home, don’t forget to quickly sanitise your child’s hands post the playdate to ensure they don't carry the germs into your home.
Once your child is done with the playdate, make sure to thoroughly bathe them with Dettol antibacterial bodywash* to rid their body of germs that they may have come in contact with while playing.
*Bar Soap: Keep out of reach of children and use only under adult supervision.
Shower gel: Not to be used on children under 3 years of age
Hand wipes: Not to be used on children under 3 years of age
Hand Sanitizer: Children must use Dettol Hands Sanitizer under adult supervision
Dettol Original Body Wash with pine fragrance; A pH-balanced formula with Dettol’s trusted germ protection. It cleanses and protects your skin for a hygienic clean and healthy, refreshing feeling every day.