Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

How long is a rasonable amount of time to expect my 2 year old to play on his own?

My 2 year old wants to be played with constantly. We will play together all day and the second I get up to do something he says "mom play". Today he didn't stop saying "mom play" for 15 minutes! I think I am playing with him too much and I am not giving him enough opportunity to learn independent play. I am going to start tomorrow working on expecting more independent play. I am going to start increasing the number of minutes that I need him to play on his own. My question is how long is a normal amount of time that I should be expecting him to play on his own in one sitting? Is 30 minutes too long? Should it be longer?

Answer Question

Asked by mazonmom at 9:50 PM on Mar. 25, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 3 (25 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • I worked with 2 yr olds and I would say between 15-30 minutes depending on the activity and child. When my son was 2, he played for hours by himself. He is an only child and has always been able to entertain himself.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 9:54 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • My DD is also 2 and we go through the same thing here. She will play by herself for maybe 10-15 minutes, depending on what she is doing. She comes to me for conversation, not just to ask to play though. If she is playing in her room, 10 minutes. Then she has to come and "check on me". Nothing holds her attention for 30 minutes. After you've played with your son and you need a break, try to interest him in something else, blocks, books, coloring, something he can do by himself. Tell him, "You look at this, play with this, etc., Mommy will be right back" and step back. Go and get a drink, use the restroom, whatever. Give him a minute to get involved with the activity, he may find that he can play by himself too. Good luck.

    Answer by Mizzjos at 9:57 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • My little girl is 2 and will play on her own for about 30 min when she is in the mood. She will play with the dog for about that long, she will sit and watch about an hour of her favorite cartoon or movie at a time. Then there are those days when she insists on being glued to my hip.

    Answer by vbongard at 9:59 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • IN my experience working with different 2 year olds, 15~30 minutes is about right.

    Answer by mistynights234 at 10:44 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • My 2 year old son can go about 20-30 mins without interupption but for the most part he'll just come talk to me for a min or so or ask for something and then go back to playing.

    Answer by lstrickland at 10:52 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • Thanks ladies, I am going to start working on 15 minutes of play and work on incresing it to 30 in a few days. I need a break!!

    Answer by mazonmom at 10:56 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • that sounds perfect! My sons speech teacher says that 15 mins is what to expect from a 2 year old.

    Answer by MickeysMom19 at 11:13 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.