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Ten Minute Play

Updated: Apr 22, 2020

What is this?

Set a timer on your phone and give your child ten minutes of your time. Tell them they can do whatever they want to do!! Try and be as enthusiastic as you can and stay engaged for the full ten minutes (put your phone on silent before you start and don't give in to the impulse to tidy up half way through).

Why should I do this?

Children benefit hugely from having the chance to be in control, it really gets their brain working. They also feel loved and cared for when their parent or guardian wants to spend time with them. Children prefer to play than talk - so ten minutes playing is like a ten minute chat for an adult - think of how much better you feel when you have got something off your mind.

My child doesn't want to do anything!

If they aren't quite sure what they want to do just sit and wait patiently with them while they mull it over - avoid giving suggestions. If you do this every day they will soon get into the swing of things and have an idea up their sleeve when you suggest ten minutes together. If your child says they don't want to do anything, ask if you can just sit with them while they do whatever it is they are doing.

What about siblings?

If you have more than one child you should make sure you do this with each child, they can agree who gets to go first and what they will do while the other child is having their go. If twenty (or thirty!!) minutes is too much of your day, make the time for each child shorter - even two minutes is valuable!

After our ten minutes my child had a massive melt down!!

Sometimes this happens. Imagine you have just done something that was loads of fun and then it has to end. Sit with your child while they tell you how they feel and, after they have said everything they want to, they will feel a whole lot better.

Quick tips:

- If you are playing a game, let them win!

- If something makes them laugh, keep doing it!

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