The Art of Entertaining Yourself

As only children, Kevin and I have always wanted to teach Landon the art of entertaining himself. We had this down to an art as kids. I played house in our unfinished basement for HOURS! I had intricate plots about my day. I made pancakes out of sandpaper and cooked them in yard sale pots. I used to play “pioneer” woman and walk down in the woods to the creek behind our house to get water for my pretend family. ALL BY MYSELF. Yes…I was 8 years old navigating the woods alone…with a running creek bed. CALL SOCIAL SERVICES! My parents were busy…and that was fine. Did I expect them to play house with me? No. I wanted it to be about my imagination. Kevin had a tree house fort about 10 feet off the ground WITH a zip line to the house. He built mountains of Legos and surely made up plenty of scenarios of what all the little guys were doing. We both spent many dinners out with our parents and their friends…with no other kids. We learned to sit quietly and keep ourselves entertained.

We want this for Landon…even if he isn’t an only child. We have seen the results of being entertained 24/7 and it ain’t pretty. Teenagers spouting “I’m bored” constantly. Needing to go somewhere…spend more money…constantly. Not what I want for my future.

Luckily, we can already see this taking shape. Landon can busy himself with his trains and cars for long periods of time. I am talking up to an hour. We just sit and watch. It is so entertaining. In the evenings when it is nice, I open the back door to the screened in porch and watch him play while I make dinner and/or unload dishes. He travels from each piece of furniture recreating story lines from his favorite movies or even book plots. Recently it has been James Goes Buzz Buzz (btw I LOVE these early reader books…another Love post coming on that). So many times his trains and cars are in peril running from the bees. You can always hear “hi thomas. Hi Percy. What doin? OKaaaayyyy comin? OK!” and they trot off together across the sand table. My heart bursts at the cuteness. Well last week I finally got him on video without stopping to say “hi ryann.” or want me to take his picture. He just kept playing. So here you go. A 2 minute glimpse into the imagination of my 2 year old:

9 thoughts on “The Art of Entertaining Yourself

  • December 8, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Very good points!

    We didn’t really get the boys to play by themselves until they were in the 3s for significant amounts of time because twin toddlers = WWE time. Even if one was happy alone, the other would come in and jack up his business. I pretty much was a referee until they were 3.

    Now we still have quiet time for 2 hours a day on weekends where they are expected to play together and leave us alone… without fighting. High expectations but it’s worked!

  • December 8, 2011 at 11:32 am

    This a such a fun post and video. We want the same for our daughter as well. Thanks for sharing!

  • December 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    That sand table comes in handy for all sorts of things! He’s too cute calling for Percy, Salty, and James. Love it!

  • December 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Love this post! It’s a 99.99% likely hood little A will be an only child and I’m so thankful that he’s good at independent play! It’s so cute for us to watch too!

  • December 11, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Soooo true! Daphne (20mos) self-entertains much of the time. When she does get whiny & clingy, it scares me.
    I didn’t know you were an only child! We are pretty she’s our one & only. (We’re not getting any younger & so forth.) It’s good to hear such a positive take on your childhood! 🙂

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