Have a child who won't play!!
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  1. #1
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    Default Have a child who won't play!!

    I have a new child just turned 3. I am trying my best but losing the will to live. She just won't play or join in with anything for more than a minute. She won't play with the other children. She just whines constantly "Hungry!" "Can we play something else?" "Can we go now?" And yes "Are we there yet?" on the shortest car journey. She seems happy outside and we go out as much is practical at this time of year with a crawler in tow. My tactic is to completely ignore the whining and carry on a normal routine foodwise. And make sure I do activities she may be interested in. Is it just attention seeking? She is wearing me out.

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    Sorry to hear you are struggling. Its difficult when we start with older ones and they have not learnt independent play skills. Sounds like your doing the right things being consistent. Sometimes children will say they are hungry because they are thirsty and need to be encouraged to drink.
    You could try a picture/activity diary so she has something to remind her what happens next that you can refer her to. Might help?

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    I wonder how they are at home? Are they put in front of a screen a lot so lack play skills and attention span? Have you spoken to parents? Some are just hard work. I hope things improve x

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    Thanks for your support. The picture diary thing sounds like a good idea. Maybe so she knows what to expect during the day. She is constantly entertained at home as she has an older sibling plays with her all the time. Whereas she is the oldest LO here. She doesn't sit and watch TV really. I think she will settle into it. I just need to be patient with her.

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    Do2learn website can help with pictures for diaries.

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    Urgh! I have a child like this, constantly "i want a snack", "im hungry" etc! Its so wearing! I also find it so interesting which children have the ability to just get on and play whereas others need constant interaction and talking to...i feel lots of children have forgotten how to simply play...
    Sorry, i digress!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    Urgh! I have a child like this, constantly "i want a snack", "im hungry" etc! Its so wearing! I also find it so interesting which children have the ability to just get on and play whereas others need constant interaction and talking to...i feel lots of children have forgotten how to simply play...
    Sorry, i digress!
    Some children have not be 'taught' how to play, and are just left on their own 'to play. Then, to get attention, or because they don't know what else to do, ask for food. In the morning, it could be the child didn't eat much/any breakfast and is now hungry. I have a LO who just doesn't want eat until about 10am,and sometimes not even then ( drives mum bonkers! ) but when they do eat ... they eat well!

    Its really hard, but if I have a child who constantly asks for food, I distract, and sit and play saying 'we'll have a snack/lunch/whatever' when we've played this game, or been for our walk, or ... etc.

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    Like loocyloo has outlined, a child’s experience will influence how they play and interact.
    I think it is our role as Early Years practitioners/ childminders to play with the children and show them how fun things can be. Getting the activities to match the child’s interest plays a big part in a child being absorbed and independent in their play.
    The expectations, accompanied by routine helps too.
    The visual timetable is a great asset, the children can see when snack is and, as long as they are not genuinely hungry learn to stop asking for food at other times. I think you are doing the right thing in ignoring the food requests, as long as you know she has eaten at the last meal.
    I was quite lucky in that I started every day with breakfast with all my LO’s so I knew what they had eaten, how much they ate etc... It was a lovely calm start to the day, we planned our day together and I could give the ‘you’ll be hungry later ‘ talk to those not interested in breakfast occasions. Grazing was not part of our day, just set times for meals and snacks and those who arrived as grazers soon stopped as they got used to our routine and absorbed in activities.
    As the oldest she may like to take on the role her big sister does with the others, spending time with her planning activities she can lead might help.
    Some children however are happiest flitting from one thing to another, prioritise the getting rid of food requests, have lots open ended activities that she is a little interested in, child choice set up where she can collect and return what she wants to play with, play with her one to one periodically if you can, to encourage her to stay longer on tasks.

    It all sounds much easier when you are advising though...I can imagine it is quite wearing, you may need to plan time out for yourself from her too....a table activity, she joins or doesn’t, but you can’t give her attention unless she is at the activity? I had an older child who preferred to interact with me all day. When the LO’s were having their nap I would make myself a cup of coffee and sit and start writing the diaries, this child knew that I needed time out to do this and soon got in to the routine of playing with items from her quiet time box next to me, but on her own, not requesting interaction. Eventually a ten minute session grew to the whole hour of her absorbed in her play....and then it was the opposite way round...I wanted to play with her after my 10 minute diary writing!

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Have a child who won't play!! Have a child who won't play!! Have a child who won't play!!

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