Can toddlers really (really) enjoy independent activities? Yes! Just ask the growing numbers of families in my Quiet Time Club! With a little bit of work, some time, and ensuring the ‘5 Golden Rules’ are followed, toddler and preschoolers can have enjoy independent activities and quiet time every single day with glowing success!
But, why would we want our toddlers to have independent time? Ha! I don’t think this question has actually ever been asked by parents of toddlers, however, let’s pretend. The obvious and important reason of allowing grown ups to also have an independent time is critical, of course, but let’s chat about the benefits to toddlers and preschoolers.
When toddlers and preschoolers have a daily period of independent activities each day, they are allowed the quiet space to think and process their thoughts and feelings. This is much like how adults benefit immensely from a daily time of meditation. As children play independently, they often start to work through problems that they may have encountered. It is very likely you will hear your little one chatting to tiny characters about sharing, taking turns, needing to brush their teeth, and so on.
Alright, so an opportunity to process and work through challenges. Fabulous. But there is so much more!
A daily quiet time allows children the opportunity to grow their independence and their problem solving abilities, which in turn increases their self-esteem. Since they are all on their own for this period of time, they get the opportunity to try harder than they typically would to accomplish what they want. For example, if a toddler was working hard to peel a sticker and an adult was right beside them, they quite likely would ask for help (or a well-intending adult would offer it). But on their own, they get the opportunity to persevere and become a problem solver, accomplishing things all on their own.
Again, fabulous! Quiet time builds independence, problem solving skills, and self-esteem. But wait, there is more!
Quiet time allows children the opportunity to solidify learning concepts! We teach our little ones so many things throughout a day: counting, letters, colours, fine motor skills, and on and on. But when children have the opportunity to play with the concepts and practice on their own, they really reinforce that learning and it has the chance to solidify.
Is Quiet Time the answer to all of our life problems? Maybe it is, my friend, maybe it is …
In our Quiet Time Club we make daily, independent activities for quiet time as easy as can be. You receive a monthly calendar with that month’s quiet time activities (which use only 5 materials each month!) and all the help you will need to get quiet time up and running in your home.
Today I wanted to share with you one activity we used in The Quiet Time Club this month.
But first, I thought it would be a great time for me to share with you our Free Quiet Time Play Mats! These are also perfect for pretend play and ideal for Quiet Time. It is amazing what a little inspiration does for our little ones. Grab your Free Quiet Time Playmats right here:
Now on first look, this imaginative play independent activity is nice and simple. And it is! All you need is some yarn and some Tupperware containers. But let’s look a little closer.
For this independent play idea, toddlers and preschoolers take the lids off of their Tupperware containers (increasing hand strength and hand dexterity). Next, they place strands of yarn across the containers (which involves strong hand-eye coordination and works on a pincer grip, too). Finally, they put the lids back on the containers (working on sorting and matching).
Once the train is all set, little hands can pull it along and watch what happens! If they had tall containers at the back of the train, they will likely fall over. Hmmm … time for some problem solving! Maybe they take the tall containers off the train (this is what my Norah selected to do). Or perhaps they move the tall containers to the front of the train.
Add in some little people who want to go for a ride and you are adding in all of the incredible creative benefits of imaginative play, too! Little ones will be working on those social skills as they play.
With just this ONE quiet time activity, our children will work on:
- Problem Solving
- Hand Strength and Dexterity
- Fine Motor Skills and a Pincer Grip
- Sorting and Matching
- Social Skills
Phew! I mean, I am not saying that Quiet Time can change the world but … I kind of am saying that.
We would love to have you in our Club so come on in – we have warm tea and time to read in here!
Thank you so much for reading,
P.S. Don’t forget to grab your Free Quiet Time Play Mats!