Earlier this year – actually, quite hilariously right after I posted about my children napping at the same time each day – my oldest daughter stopped taking naps. It wasn’t exactly a surprise, but I was still a little caught off guard. Like, what was she going to do while Bella napped for 2 hours and I tried to get 2 hours of afternoon work in? To remedy this, we implemented quiet time, and it worked fairly well for several months. She would read, play with her blocks or babies, and occasionally fall asleep for a while.
© gpointstudio – stock.adobe.com
Unfortunately, this is just not working for us anymore. In fact, the past several days during quiet time, Sofia has been getting into trouble.
She’s taken sprinkles to Bella’s crib and got them all over the crib and the floor, with the help of Bella, of course.
She has drawn with a pen all over my phone and one of her books.
She also took a fine tip pen to her fingernails and colored them all black and then handed the pen over to Bella who started drawing tattoos all over her hand, arm, and leg.
Sadly, quiet time is no longer a time of rest and relaxation for this girl of mine.
You might be thinking, Well, where are you while all this mischief is happening? I’m downstairs in my office trying to get some work done. I can hear most anything that happens upstairs, but when I get involved with my work sometimes I block out the quieter sounds. So if Sofia is walking into Bella’s room and they have a friendly exchange, I will probably not even realize she is in there. When there is screaming, yelling, loud singing, or crying I can’t work through that and I run upstairs to find out what’s happening.
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Quiet Time Activities for Ages 3-6
All I know is I need to find a way to make quiet time a little less boring or monotonous for Sofia. And I really want to figure this one out before baby #3 arrives (any day now)! I’ve spent some time searching for fun activities, and I thought I might as well share them with you as well since I was spending lots of time on it.
I have a puzzle app that both girls love, but it will be good for Sofia to figure out how to do real puzzles. I saw a bunch of puzzles at the dollar store the other day, so that’s probably where I’ll go to get some for quiet time. You can also make your own puzzles!
- Popsicle Stick Puzzle via Frogs-and-Fairies
I have always wanted to put together a bunch of busy bags, but I’ve just never made time for it. I think now’s the time!
Audio books are a great option if your child is at least 4 to help them develop their listening skills. So far, we’ve tried the audio stories from the first link below and Sofia LOVES them! The ones for her age are less than 15 minutes, and I just turn one on at the beginning of quiet time.
- Story Nory
- A Story Before Bedtime (you can record your own reading of a book!)
- The Story Home
- Audible (2 free books with a free 30-day trial)
- Library – OverDrive (check your library’s website and see if they offer audiobooks you can check out with your library card)
Kids love magnets! You don’t always have to use magnets for the fridge, either. There are a lot of activities, like the ones below, that utilize magnets.
- Alphabet Magnetic Pom-Pom Sheets via Fab n’ Free
- Matching Activities for Toddlers via The Measured Mom
Maybe it’s just my kids, but coloring books seem to get abused and used far too quickly. I would rather print out one or two coloring pages for Sofia so she can focus on just those rather than bouncing around from one page to another in a coloring book.
- Animals Number Coloring Pages via Easy Peasy and Fun
- Ocean Animal Coloring Pages via From ABCs to ACTs (link no longer available)
It might not be a bad idea to give your child some screen time at the beginning or very end of quiet time. For Sofia, I think I might switch between screen time and audiobooks and see how that works.
- Picture Books on YouTube via Teach Beside Me
- 10+ Spanish Channels on YouTube for Ages 2-5 via Humble in a Heartbeat
- Letter Learning Apps for Kids via Parenting Chaos
I love stickers because my kids love stickers. But they go through them super fast! The only thing I don’t like about stickers is when they decide to put them on the walls, furniture, or in their hair. Oh, well! They’re kids!
- Sticker Matching Activity via Laughing Kids Learn (link no longer available)
- Sticker Drawings via Childhood 101
I’m not a huge fan of play dough. It might be my girls’ ages, but it’s just plain messy. Since Sofia’s 4 now, we’ll see if she can make less mess as time goes on.
- The Ultimate Playdough Recipe via How Wee Learn
- Play Dough Mats for Counting to 10 via Life Over C’s
- 23 Awesome Play Dough Tools via Design Dazzle
I can’t wait to get some lacing cards put together. I think it’s brilliant to teach your child how to tie their shoes with some lacing cards.
Dress-up dolls are great for boys or girls, but I couldn’t find many quality dolls for boys. Surely there are some out there!
I love journaling, but I don’t do enough of it these days. I plan to give Sofia a journal at the end of quiet time and let her draw or write while I also write in my journal. Hopefully with my example she will learn to love journaling from a young age!
- Preschool Journaling via What Do We Do All Day?
- Simple Journals with 3 Year Olds via Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
When I get enough activities gathered and ready for Sofia’s quiet time, I will start putting together Quiet Boxes. I want to eventually have 5 boxes, one for each day of the week. In each box I would put a book, a busy bag, crayons and coloring pages, and at least 2 other activities I have listed above.
I’m excited to get these Quiet Boxes together and hopefully get things going before baby #3 comes. I plan on updating this post when I have some Quiet Boxes ready to share!
Is nap time and/or quiet time an important part in your child’s day?