My kid is 2 years and 9 months now. For a year now we've been in USA and we were buying him electronic toys (buttons, music, lights, shapes, numbers), so he is very sharp at those, he can say number up to 40, he can sing 10s of rhymes. So far all is well.

But recently we are noticing that he is preferring toys over interaction. Only if toys are not noticeable, he will interact with persons who attracts him, specially females. We did get chance to watch how he interacts with other kids in USA as almost all kids were busy if not they were carrying toys which makes my kid grab that toy.

So my question is, how to reduce my child's attachment to toys, and what type of child activities can we use as replacement?

It looks like no child shows interest in my kid. Is it okay to ask some one's child to interact with mine? Or ask their parents to help me out on my child's interaction with theirs?

  • I was reading online different things about toddler's, like too hyper active toddlers, what causes toddlers to behave very stubborn behavior, I also found something 'autism' it is kind of a tricky to understand anyone knows about it ?
    – gopal
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 18:41
  • autism is a problem in the brain that results in people having problems understanding and expressing emotions and often means children will have real problems interacting with others. It's extremely rare, and the chances that your child has it are very, very small. In any case doctors won't even attempt to diagnose it until they are more than 3 years old. Look, children develop, and as they develop their behavior changes. Sometimes they may be introverted for awhile, it's likely just a phase. Give it time.
    – GdD
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 8:10
  • @gopal I have reverted your rollback, as Torben's edits helped to clarify a lot of what you were asking. If you disagree with any of the specific edits, please open a question in Parenting Meta to discuss this further, rather than making edits directly to this question.
    – user420
    Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 12:04

6 Answers 6


There's no way you can make your child not like to play with toys, and no reason to try. You can't force these things, and your child will resent you for trying. If your child is playing with toys more that's his choice and you have to let him make it. He wants to become more independent, and that's a normal and good thing. If you want your child to interact with others then give him more social opportunities. For instance, put him in a play group where he meets other children regularly, or arrange play dates with other kids in the area. He'll make friends on his own.


Part of the answer is around you creating an environment where this can happen - children learn directly from you and the environment.

Take them to places where they can meet other kids - play parks, softplay etc You should interact with other parents to show a good example When at home, make sure you play with your child and interact with other adults and children where relevant

Really - don't try and force anything, just show and enable.

And don't worry - my youngest loves sitting on her own playing in an imaginary world with her dolls, but is also the most social of my three when we do go to softplay. She used to require a particular teddy to go to bed, but slowly grew out of that over time.


Some kids are naturally a little more introverted than others, and two-year-olds are still sort of trying to figure out social interaction anyway. What I see a lot of times with 2s is that they play around each other, but not so much with each other. Now that my son is older (he's 4), he plays with kids his own age a lot, but sometimes he becomes a little overwhelmed and will drift off to play alone with blocks or puzzles or whatever. And that's fine. In fact, I think it's a useful skill for your child to have--the ability to entertain himself. When he gravitates towards playing with toys rather than kids--even when kids his own age are around--it's probably because that's where he's comfortable. Making friends is tough work and it's even harder to be the new kid. Maybe get him involved in a playgroup or a class where generally the same kids are there every week--that way he doesn't have to worry about meeting new people/making new friends every time you take him because he'll all ready be familiar with the kids who are there.

And there is certainly nothing wrong with you taking his hand and saying, "Look, those little girls and boys are playing in the sand box! Do you want to play in the sandbox, too?"

  • Yeah, sound good.
    – gopal
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 16:44
  • Collaborative play doesn't begin for a lot of kids until late in the fourth year (when they are three, or sometimes even the fifth). So this is absolutely right. Encourage but don't stress. Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 0:33

"Collaborative play" is where children begin to play with other children directly. Before they move into that stage, they may play amongst other children, but tend to still be solo playing (called "parallel play").

It's quite normal for a 2 year old to still be in the parallel play mode of interaction.

So, don't do anything. Your kid is normal. ;)

  • He is 2 years and 9 months now, We started him daycare 2 days back. Looks like he is doing OK, busy with his own activities and sometime little interaction with teacher.
    – gopal
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 16:41

Your child might be an introvert. And that is perfectly okay. There is nothing wrong with introverts, though an extrovert might not see it that way.

It is okay for someone to prefer to play or work by himself most of the time. Some people find it physically draining to be around others for long periods of time. There is nothing wrong with them even though they are commonly misunderstood. (This is coming from an introvert who married into a family of extroverts and is frequently called anti-social for not being able to be around them for long periods of time.)

So long as your child has the ability to get along with other children, I wouldn't worry too much about him. Let him grow and develop knowing that he is alright. Try reading up on different personality types so that you can see what his strengths may be and how to appreciate those strengths.


This is typical age for Parallel Play. Playing together happens gradually as they get older. Your child will most likely interact more fully with others in a year or two.

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