Home Depot

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Play & Independence at Home Depot



What is your child constructing in Home Depot? How are they talking about their creation? Play cultivates independence. For a toddler, having freedom in their play is a great way for them to explore their independence and grow. Don’t be surprised if your toddler wants to build the same thing over and over or only wants to play with one thing – that might be just what he or she needs.


Let your child take the lead! This is their time to stretch their imaginations. Pretend that you are simply their building assistant. Explain your thinking with lots of sentences that start with “I think that…” or “I wonder if…” Are you or child stumped on what to build? Start simply connecting pvc pipes or hammering nails. As you play, you will be able to make statements such as “This reminds me of…” Use those conversations to guide your creation!

Explore at Home

One of the simplest ways to foster independence and help develop critical thinking skills in toddlers and preschoolers is by offering choices you both can live with. e.g., “You can wear the green shirt or the blue shirt.” This strategy allows you to set appropriate limits, while acknowledging your child’s need to “do it myself.”

Suggest a space to make a fort and grab a pile of blankets or pillows your child can use to construct their fort.  Let them decide what it is for and what they can do inside.

Tap an exhibit below to learn more about it.