6 Ideas for Your Child’s Daily Quiet Time
January 1 • Written by Sophia Duhela
Many moms dread the day their child stops napping, but let me tell you something…
You and your child can still have this little break right in the middle of the day by introducing “Quiet Time” – you can thank me later!
What is quiet time and does my child need it?
Quiet time is the time your child spends in their bedroom, alone, instead of napping. As your child begins to outgrow their nap time, you can implement quiet time instead.
Just like nap time, you will need to share your expectations for your child regarding quiet time.
For example, you may say something like, “It’s time to go to your room for quiet time! I’ll read one book with you, and then you can read more by yourself, do puzzles, or play with your cars until your light comes on. When your light comes on, quiet time will be over and you can come find me!”
As much as you need a break from your child, they may also need a break from you. This time also gives your child’s brain time to rest without other stimulation besides a few items in their bedroom. Most children will benefit from some sort of break in the middle of the day.
Introducing Quiet Time
If you know it’s time to drop your child’s mid-day nap, it may be time to introduce quiet time. I recommend using the Gro-Clock. Just like I recommend using this product to help your child transition from a crib to a toddler bed, I also recommend using it for quiet time. Instead of saying something like, “If your clock is sleeping, you also need to be sleeping.” You can now say, “Once your clock wakes up, you can leave your room. If your clock is sleeping, you can play quietly in your room.”
I recommend working up to an hour of quiet time.
Start small, with 20-30 minutes. Follow your child’s lead and see how they do. Each day, add a few minutes and work your way up to a full hour of quiet time.
Make sure to praise them, sharing how proud you are of them, that they’re able to do this all on their own because they’re a big boy or a big girl now.
6 Ideas for Your Child’s Quiet Time
Okay, so obviously, we know that we can’t expect our children to play nicely all the time without us, right?? But we can set them up for success by providing some novelty or by making this time each day extra special. I’m going to list some great quiet time activities below, as well as some ideas for how you can keep these activities fresh so your child doesn’t get bored and start acting up.
Go to your local library every week or so. These are the books you can keep in your child’s room for quiet time. Having a regular rotation of books coming in and out will keep them engaged for longer periods of time.
Every few weeks, rotate out and add a new puzzle or two to your child’s quiet time activities. Practice the puzzle with your child first, and when you know they can do it independently, it’s time to add it to their quiet time rotation. Make sure the puzzles vary in size and interest, and are developmentally appropriate. If you put one in that’s too difficult for your child to do independently, you’re asking for trouble.
Playing with Dolls or Figurines
Have your child pick out some of their favorite toys or characters (Barbies, baby dolls, firefighters, Little People, etc.) that they can play with exclusively during this time of day. Do not let them play with these toys at any other time of day so it feels extra special and keeps them engaged.
Floor Play with Quiet Toys
Same idea as above…what these toys are, pick a few and keep them solely for this time of day. Make sure these toys are NOT electronic and overstimulating. For example…cars, blocks, legos, etc.
“Independent” being the key work here! You know your child best and you know what they’re capable of. You also know how responsible they are with craft materials, so adjust to meet your child where they are at. Similarly to the puzzle idea, with any craft supplies you provide, your child should be able to use it all with total and complete independence. They shouldn’t need your help to open a glue stick or to close markers all the way. Once they show you they can do it with you and on their own, you can add it to their quiet time activities!
Mess-Free Coloring & Coloring Books
Wondering about your child??
Is your child ready for quiet time? Are they really ready to be done with their mid-day nap?
Get my expert opinion by setting up an Ask Anything call with me here. I’d love to chat with you and potentially come up with some quiet time activities that your child would love!