What do you do when your little one won’t nap anymore but you still need that mid-day time to make that phone call, throw some laundry in, or let’s face it… take a nap?!
Quiet time! It is all the rage these days!
We all need a break during the day (kids included). And, from our family’s experience, kids will play so much better after they’ve had some alone time during the day.
It’s been hard for us to get our girls to stay in a room for even 10 minutes by themselves (let alone a full hour).
But I’m happy to report that after lots of trial and error, we finally got them to the full hour!! They can totally do it and I know your child can do. All it takes is the right set up.
Ok and maybe some patience.
Here is how our family has gotten quiet time to work for both of our girls. They do it everyday and it’s a glorious time that we all look forward to so that we can re-group.
When we come back together after that hour apart, we are much kinder and happier than we were before.
I hope these ideas will help you and your kiddo find a well deserved break during the day and will be just what you need to push that “reset” button.
How our Family Implemented Quiet Time
We Created a Designated Quiet Time Space
Our oldest daughter started with quiet time in her room. Then the next day it was in our room. Then it was in the family room.
We quickly realized this was throwing her off. She needed a consistent space where she knew quiet time would happen everyday.
Kids thrive on routine. And if I wanted her to stay in one spot for a full hour, I was going to need to create a “quiet time space”.
We now have both of our girls (ages 5 and 3) doing quiet time. One of them will be in the play room and one of them will be in their bedroom (then the next day they switch).
This helps them understand the boundary. They know that they need to stay in that room for the full time and not wander around the house doing whatever they want.
We Use a Timer
Our girls are very visual learners, thinkers, understanders… you name it.
An hour is a long time for a kid and when they can’t tell time it makes it even longer.
When we first started quiet time, my daughter kept coming out every 5 minutes asking, “Is quiet time almost over?”
That got old pretty fast. So we set a timer on the ipad (put “guided access” on so she couldnt’ change it) for her to see how much time was left.
Then we invested in a kid friendly visual timer that both of our girls now use. Once the 30 minute timer goes off, they can have “together quiet time”.
After the second 30 minute timer goes off, they know that quiet time is over.
It’s been such a huge help for us so I don’t have to constantly be interrupted by, “moooommmmm!!! HOW. MUCH. LONGER??”
We Set Up a Few Different “Stations”
Kids need some help to learn how to play independently. We realized this quickly with our oldest.
Setting her in her room and saying, “Ok you play here and we’ll come get you when you can come out” didn’t go over very well.
She was overwhelmed by the amount of options of things that she could do. She didn’t know where to start so she just sat there and cried (or came out to get us).
I now have a closet of independent activities that I can pull from everyday. Things like: games, puzzles, coloring books, eye-spy, magnetic dolls, water wow books, stickers, kinetic sand, playdough, etc.
I choose 2-3 of these activities and set them up around the room. Then I add a “reading station” with books, and a “toy station” with one of their toys (blocks, baby dolls, etc).
We then walk around the room together and I explain what each station is (this sounds intense. But in reality, the whole set up and explanation only takes about 2 minutes).
They are usually so excited about one of the activities that they don’t even make it all the way around the room with me before they are stuck on the floor doing one of them!
We SOMETIMES Do It With Them
Sometimes our kids will be nervous to be in the room by themselves. When this is the case, we will make an exception and do quiet time “with them”.
This doesn’t mean we go in and play with them though. They understand that mommy has things she needs to get done too in order to “be a better mommy”.
So I will sit next to them in their room while they do their activities and I will read a book, respond to messages, or even take a nap.
We have loved having a time during the day where we all take a break. A time to pause stimulation. Be in our own minds. Think and re-group.
I hope you’ll enjoy using some of these ideas in your own home too! And finally take that well deserved nap you’ve been waiting for!