since i am a sahm ds is used to me being around him pretty much all of the time. every once in a while he'll get into playing and go for a good 10-15 min. by himself, but most of the time he wants me right by him. i don't mind playing with him, it's just that i'm 7.5 mo. prego now so it's hard for me to always have the energy and be able to get down on the floor. lots of times he chooses to stand on a chair and watch me cook instead of just playing in the kitchen near me. he also recently got his own room which he's really into except that it's upstairs from the kitchen, so he's not into the idea of being upstairs by himself just yet i guess. i know this must vary a lot for each lo, just trying to get an idea.
does your 3 yo. play alone?
IMO, I think it's a genetic personality thing - I have one child who couldn't play alone at 3 - constantly wanted me to play or sought my attention to the point where I had to actively figure out techniques to encourage her to play alone. My other child hasn't minded playing alone since birth. He's fine being in another room by himself and has games he'll play by himself for extended periods of time.
My 3yo will play alone I guess...maybe for like 10-15 minutes and then only rarely. But she would vastly prefer to play with me or with her brother. She would even prefer to sit and help me in the kitchen or whatever I'm doing rather than playing alone. So maybe the answer is no, she doesn't :)
Mine did at that age, although not for nearly as long as her friend of the same age did. Dd particularly likes playing outside, especially in the sandbox. She would/will spend an hour or more playing alone out there. I can't always count on her to do it when I want her to, but she does do it. Water play (in the tub or sink or outside) will also keep her occupied for a long time. She was over 3.5 when I finally made her some playdoh, and she will play that for an hour plus too. There are, of course, many times that she wants my undivided attention for hours at a time too. Maybe if you could get him set up with certain activities that he enjoys, and even in the same room as you so you can keep him company, he might play by himself longer.
I could have written this post myself (minus the pregnant part). My DS (almost 3) doesn't play solo. A friend of mine refers to me as the "cruise director" because she doesn't have to come up with activities for her kids as much. That said, he is an only (so far), which may explain his prefrence to play with me. Maybe if he had a sibling, he'd play with him/her.
I think it is personality in large part. My godson (only child) could NEVER play alone - not at that age & still not at11. His parents are not super involved so it's certainly not because he was overly catered to. Ds is only 2 (only child so far) & plays alone very well - to the point that people are always commenting on it. I'm thankful 'cause I really don't love playing for long periods of time (my strengths are other things like baking with him or going outside & letting him get dirty & explore).