I just totally lost my cool with ds1 (almost 8) and ds2 (5). They used to play together beautifully - mostly with playmobil and other similar toys. But I have noticed over the last few months that this type of play has totally disappeared. If they are in their room, ds2 is laying on his bed doing nothing or moaning to me that he wants tv/computer/etc. Ds1 lays on his bed and reads or listens to audiobooks.
I know it doesn't sound terrible, but it really got to me today that they no longer play at all. This is not normal! If I tell them to go and play in their room for a bit, it is as described above - no actual playing. Their room is full or toys they could choose, but they don't. I know reading and listenign to audiobooks is good for them, but not instead of any playing surely?
If we are out and about, which we are a lot, they play well with other children - lots of running, chasing etc. But put them inside and they lose all ability to play.
It sounds like your DS1 has really got into stories in a big way and that your DS2 has lost his usual playmate.
I wouldn't worry about your DS1. I don't remember playing with my toys alone from when I could read to myself. I would sit somewhere with a book; on my bed, up the big tree in the garden, find a quiet spot near the river...
I only really played with toys when my friends visited. But once I had loads of other "scheduled" interests: sports, drama etc
I suppose if you wanted to vary his activities, you could encourage him to make books with his own stories and then he might do some drawing or make collages to illustrate them.
For your DS2, I find then either DCs (4 and 6) doesn't know what to do with themselves, I just have to play with them for about 20 mins and then they play alone. So I'll start building a train set or acting out a story with Playmobil with them and then after while say, I've got some jobs to do now and they usually carry on playing alone. If they really want company they will come and help with the jobs.
Sometimes I get a couple of toys which have been forgotten for a while out and put them on the coffee table so they see them first thing when they wake up.
I have to say, I don't get why you would say 'go and play in your room' to a child. It seems obvious that they wouldn't know what to when they got there when it is imposed on them
I have often wondered if that was the problem - too much stuff. We may be moving soon and when we box stuff up, I was thinkinf of not unboxing it. Ds1 would not be bothered - he really just wants his books. But ds2 would not be happy - we had to move out of our place for 7 months and into my mother's while refurbishments were being done and we didn't take a lot of their toys with us. Ds2 spent the whole time there asking for any of the toys we did not bring.
I had very few toys when I was a child, and kids' TV didn't exist except for one programme after lunch each day (this was before Channel 4 even existed!). I used to do loads of reading, and lots of sport etc and playing in the garden / playing at friends' houses. But my main activity at home was reading ... and I am absolutelyfine and don't think that I am maladjusted in any way.
Try not to worry - sounds as though they both need their own space and are content to amuse themselves; sounds good to me.