One of my favourite things in the world is my family’s daily quiet time. Sometimes when I tell people this, I feel they will judge me – so I used to keep it to myself.
But now that I am older (“seasoned” as I like to call it) and have been on this quiet time journey for over 6 years, I have been feeling more and more confident in sharing my love for this magical time. Quiet time has nothing to do with me not wanting to spend time with my kids. It has to do with me wanting THE BEST for my kids.
When I have a daily time each day in amongst our crazy, busy, learning-filled days I am calmer and happier.
This is how quiet time started for us. I was getting cranky with my kids and not being the mom I wanted to be. I was overwhelmed and burning out hot (do you burn out hot? Ummm)
I decided to make a change and filled the car with library books. Pretty soon I discovered this idea of living by contractions and expansions in our day. Here is a video I made explaining that:
So this idea of expansions and contractions itself was game changing, but the idea of having an hour to myself in the middle of the day to do a few things I needed to do and then rest and refill my tank? I NEEDED THAT.
Our quiet time journey began. Turns out, it wasn’t hard at all! AND … the most wonderful thing happened … as I became calmer and happier with my daily quiet time, my kids did too!
The tantrums faded, meltdowns were rare occurrences — life got so much better.
So, why would I worry if a few people misunderstood what I meant when I said quiet time was my favourite part of the day?
I am now on a mission to help those who were just like me.
One thing that we do each day for quiet time, is begin with a quiet bin. The children each get a separate quiet bin to enjoy and this engages them in those first few tricky minutes of quiet time, helping them to settle in.
I have a ton of ideas on this blog for quiet time activities. But a friend of mine suggested making “Quiet Time Labels” to simplify things.
This way you can have eight quiet time bins with your eight quiet time labels to help you come up with quiet time bin ideas easy peasy.
Here are the eight ideas:
Numbers – in this bin you might include some playing cards with counters so children can pull out a card and put that number of counters on top. Or perhaps you put clothespins with those playing cards – or paper clips! You can think about all sorts of number ideas for quiet time that could go in this bin.
Building – in this quiet time bin you can include some blocks for building. You can switch it up to keep it fresh! Magnatiles, small wooden blocks, lego, soft foamy blocks, and so on. Building with a variety of materials is so wonderful for learning.
Fine Motor – in this quiet time box, you can keep fine motor activities to engage your little one into the start of quiet time. Maybe you have buttons or pompoms that can be sorted, or you have tweezers with pompoms to explore.
Crafting – we always have a very low mess crafting bin at our house. Adding in some small strips of paper and safety scissors makes this a cutting bin for practicing scissor skills. Add in a glue stick and those scraps will be made into a lovely mosaic!
Loose Parts – exploring with loose parts is a wonderful independent activity for children to do during quiet time. They can line up some rocks or buttons, or create a whole elaborate scene for their little animals and people to explore.
Playdough – there are a million and three ways to play with playdough! Add a few little things to this bin along with a batch of my No-Cook Playdough and your little one is set to explore with this wonderful sensory play.
Letters – a quiet bin with an activity for exploring letters of the alphabet is always a great one! You can put in some little trinkets from the junk drawer and little ones can sort them based on the first sound. And then they can exxplore these amazing treasures and get swept away with quiet time.
Imaginative Play – this quiet bin is always the most successful with young toddlers I have found. Add in some popsicle sticks and little animals so paddocks can be made, or those popsicle sticks might turn into hay to feed the animals. Or perhaps adding in people will make those popsicle sticks sidewalks or roads for little cars! Children have the best imaginations!
Labelling these bins will make your quiet time prep much more manageable, I do believe. It is always easier to come up with ONE fine motor activity, or ONE imaginative play activity than it is to come up with a bunch of ideas all at once.
Ready to grab your Quiet Bin Labels? Here you go!
And if you need a little more support with your quiet time, or want me to share exactly WHAT to put in those quiet bins every single day, you will love my Quiet Time Made Easy as 1-2-3 Bundle!
I can’t wait to help support you through this amazing journey, my sweet friend.
Thank you so much for reading!