Quiet time. We all crave it from time-to-time, and our children do, too. This Fall quiet bin activity I’m sharing with you today is a great way to incorporate some quiet time into your day, which is so important for your child.
Our little ones take in so much new information every day. At times, taking in all this information and trying to make sense of it can be very overwhelming for our sweeties. While quiet time for children is often under-valued, I hope through this activity you will see first-hand the value it has for you and your child. Time with a quiet bin can help your child relax, help them make sense of their new learning, and help you understand your child better.
Natural Fall Quiet Bin Activity
Step 1: Explore Nature for Items
This natural fall quiet bin is fun and easy to make. All you need is a container, and a couple of small toy animals of your child’s preference. My son and I took our container to the forest near our house and looked for neat and interesting pieces of nature we could put in our bin. As you can see from the photo, we found a variety of leaves, grass, small sticks, some rocks, and more.
To him, each new find was a treasure. I wanted to know more about his thoughts behind the treasures, so I modeled expressing something I thought was special about an item I chose. “Oh, I think this rock is such a treasure because the line goes all the way around.” After hearing me repeat the statements a few times, he began to repeat it with his own ideas. Soon we had spoken about the importance of each item we chose. What a great oral language exercise! Once our bin was half filled, we went home. Since we have four people in our family, he picked four of his favourite animals for his quiet bin.
Step 2: Set Up the Quiet Bin Activity
After our big walk, choosing animals, and a snack, we were both ready for some quiet time. I read a book on the couch, and he played with his new quiet bin on the floor nearby. While it is good to interact and play with our children sometimes, it is just as important to sit back, observing from a distance. The more inconspicuous we can be about observing, such as reading or pretending to read a book, the more our child is free to play in their own world.
When I see my Kindergarten students or my own children play in this zone, it is magical! If you have ever experienced it, you will know what I mean. If you have not yet experienced this, you will understand what I mean when you do. When children are in this zone, they play out situations they are thinking about and things they are learning about. While observing from a distance, we gain a whole new insight on our child.
I have observed and learned so much about individual children in this way. I have seen them acting out problem solving and skills they have been learning, such as two animals choosing to share a toy and saying, “Sharing is caring,” a common phrase I use. We can also learn about what makes our children scared, sad, happy, and excited. If there is something they are worrying about, it may also come out in the play.
Observing Quiet Time
So what do we do when we observe such things?
Nothing. We do nothing. This is their quiet time to play and to be. Adult interference gets in the way of them working and playing through the full scenario. When in fact, playing it through, may help them to make more sense of it or practice it. It may also give us more insight to what is going on in their precious heads.
This is not to say we need to observe and then leave it. Sometimes we may see something we are impressed with or want to encourage. We can try to build these into our everyday more often. For example, in the sharing scenario, we could make special comments when we see our child sharing or tell them how we notice they are being a caring sharer. The thing is that we are doing this outside of their quiet time. We are not interfering with their quiet play.
If you see your child acting out something which concerns you, you may wish to pay extra attention to what they are saying and doing. Later, you could replay a similar scenario with different characters and ask questions while you play. It is important not to show anger or upset with your child in this play time. This could shut down their open play because they want to do things that make us happy. During this play, you can make “I wonder” statements, such as, “I wonder why the big brother said that to his little brother.” These statements can help us learn more about where their ideas are coming from. From this knowledge we can make next steps for supporting our child if we learn any are needed.
In conclusion, although this natural fall quiet bin activity is simple, to make it can be so very helpful to your child in exploring ideas and feelings, and it can help you gain more insight into your child. This is why, in addition to the calming effect of quiet time, quiet bins are a beneficial part of your daily routines.
I hope you and your little ones find peace and connection through the use of this natural fall quiet bin.
Happy connecting, fellow Mamas!
Belinda is a mama to two little boys and an experienced Kindergarten teacher. She has a love of using nature and technology to enhance and motivate children’s learning. She values the use and training of growth mindset at home with her family and while teaching. Follow along with her on Pinterest.
You might also like: