How to Get Your Kids To Have Daily Quiet Time (and Love It!)
I brought the subject of daily quiet time for kids up on Facebook one day last month and was surprised at the quick response from my awesome mom followers: Some said yes their children have daily quiet time, others wished their kids would have quiet time. But ALL of you felt it is a must! And it truly is, both for mommy and the little ones. I see a big difference in the way our day goes when my kids have had their quiet time that day. You know how kids are seemingly boundless energy, they will go go go ALL DAY if you let them from one activity to another. Its okay to sit them down apart from naptime and tell them they need to sit quietly and play (and not ask for anything!) for a set time. It teaches them independence and how to entertain themselves for awhile. And even if theyre not excited about it at first, they will learn to look forward to it (as will you!). The key is to make it fun and inviting. 🙂
So how to do it? Here are my tips for having daily quiet time be a smooth, positive experience:
1. First, you need a haven, a place that your kids can go to every day. It should be clean and free of distractions like TV* or noisy toys. Anything that gets them keyed up and jumping around needs to be far away!
*TV doesnt count as quiet time. 😉 They need to have quiet minds!
2. Add child-sized furniture like beanbags or comfy chairs to your chosen area. Check Craigslist for an affordable option, or IKEA always has cute things for great prices. Alternatively you can pile pillows and blankets especially used for that purpose in an inviting way on the floor. Let your kids decorate the walls there, maybe even make a fort!
3. Music! Either classical or your kids favorite tunes itll really set the mood and distract your kids in a good way. Put the music on before telling your kids its time for quiet time. I have a CD player in our area and Emma changes out discs herself. She also enjoys listening to books on tape so thats another great option!
4. Set out magazines, favorite picture books, crayons and coloring books. Maybe hit the dollar store or used book store (or paperbackswap.com!) to keep things new and exciting! Other great activities are play-doh, legos, and blocks but make sure they only do one thing at a time so cleanup isnt traumatic later. 😉
5. Make sure your kids know not to leave the quiet time area except for potty breaks and events of absolute import. 😉 For younger children, you might want to put up a baby gate or something its a hard concept for toddlers to understand that they cant come out of their room (or wherever the quiet time area is) for a set period of time. They may complain for a few minutes but theyll find something to do once they realize they cant wheedle their way out.
6. Quiet time will last longer if you serve a snack or two! Nuts, fruit, veggies, crackers, non-messy finger foods will be your saving grace.
7. Try to make quiet time at the same time every day if you can. Kids (and moms) thrive in a good routine! Of course if thats not possible, you can make a little daily schedule for the week and post it somewhere everyone can see it Quiet time @ 2 p.m. on Tuesday and Quiet time @ 11 a.m. on Wednesday. The important thing is that you try to have quiet time every day!
7. Set a timer so your kids will know when quiet time will be starting and ending. It cuts out any potential whining about coming out before youre ready when they know the exact time theyll be set free (if they even care my kids dont!).
8. Dont use quiet time as a punishment, make sure its all positive so your kids will look forward to it! Quiet time is a fun part of the day when kids are free to play and have fun in a relaxing, restful atmosphere.
And those are my tips for you you can use any or all! My hope is that they help you either get started making a daily quiet time part of your schedule or perhaps make quiet time smoother for you and your kids.
I would love to hear any tips or tricks you have and your experiences! Do you have a quiet time activity to add to my list? Please leave a comment! 🙂