Play, any kind of play, is crucial for a child’s mental and physical development. When children are allowed some solitary time, it helps them develop many skills and supports development at all levels. What you child does in their alone time is explore, learn, be creative, take initiative and problem solve. All these skills are vital.
You can encourage your child as early as 15 months old to play alone. Of course, the first year you've spent time singing, reading, and stacking games together. However, as the toddler starts growing, they also should learn to play alone. Each child is different. Children below the age of 2 years will have short attention spans, and tend to focus on solitary play for a few minutes a day. Let them.
As soon as you find that your toddler is engaged with an activity by himself, leave him alone. Don't disturb him when he’s busy at play alone. You can choose activities too. This way you are not leaving your little one completely alone.
Children enjoying painting, drawing, or pretending while they play in their make-believe kitchens or tents. You can provide those avenues for them. You can allow your child a simple scarf and that becomes a cape. Building blocks are perfect for engagement too. Pillow forts or just dancing to great music is a beneficial activity by itself.
If your child is hyperactive or just active in general, you want to take him to the park and let him play on the teeters or swings, and play in the sand. You can supervise from a distance but allow them that space and avenue to run and vent pent up energy.
So, enforce your child at an early age so your child learns how to take initiative, use their imagination, and learn problem-solving as they grow.