How’s that cold cup of coffee, Mama? Oh wait – it’s in the microwave (cold yet again) right? I KNOW. I have been there. You need (desperately) quiet time ideas for kids.
Whether you have a toddler or preschooler who is just outgrowing his nap or you are looking for independent play ideas so you can get a few things done, you have come to the right place. Here you will find Quiet Time bins, busy boxes, busy bags, and quiet time boxes … you will find it all!
You will also find out everything you need to know about creating a rhythm for your family that is peaceful and lovely and how to make quiet time a part of this rhythm … daily! Plus I will share tips for making quiet time work, as well as LOADS of low prep quiet time ideas for kids of all ages, from toddlers to big kids.
Quiet Time Ideas for Kids
Let’s get started right away – since quiet time might be new to you, every second will count! Grab a cup of coffee, tea, or your beverage of choice, cozy in, and get ready to learn all there is to know about quiet time.
What is Quiet Time? – Getting Started
- Quiet Time is Coming – The Why, How and What. – Quickly learn the why, how and what of Quiet Time: Why it is important, how to implement it in your own life and what your kids can do during this time. The links to each of these sections can also be found below for even quicker access.
- For the Love of my Kids (The Quiet Time Mastery Series). – Learn a little more about my story and why I absolutely NEEDED Quiet Time in my life. I compiled all my learning in this fabulous resource, The Quiet Time Mastery Series.
- Quiet Time Moments in a Jar. – Still not sure about this whole Quiet Time thing? Try this quick and easy quiet time resource so you can experiment with Quiet Time before you commit. I know you’ll start to see the benefits soon enough!
- Finding a Focus to Our Days. – Now that you know what Quiet Time is about and that it IS possible, it may be helpful to reflect on what you hope to get out of it all. What benefits do you hope it will bring to you, your kids and your whole family? What would you like your kids to learn or experience? How might a typical day look? Answering these questions really helped me mindfully select what we focused on each day. This post is here to inspire you on your Quiet Time journey in a way that is meaningful and unique to your family.
Low Prep, Easy Quiet Time Ideas for Kids
- Dollarstore Quiet Bins: 9 Dollarstore Items, 30 Brilliant Quiet Bins! – It doesn’t get much easier than this, friends! Purchase nine dollar store items, and get thirty versatile quiet time activities for your kids. This is the fastest way of learning what independent activities your child prefers.
- Quiet Time Activities with Materials You Have at Home – Well, the title says it all. Do you have a whisk and toilet paper rolls? Then, we’ve got a quiet time activity for you (or two or thirty…)!
- Pompom Hockey Quiet Bin. – Keep little ones moving, engaged and learning during Quiet Time with this fun pom-pom hockey activity. It is mess-free, takes no time to set up and can keep you preschooler engaged forever!
- A Different Kind of Name Puzzle. – Take a puzzle you already have, flip it over and write your child’s name! We love name puzzles here at How Wee Learn. They are such a rich way of increasing a child’s awareness of the letters in their name.
- A Puzzle with Quiet Time Blocks. – Building blocks are a fantastic quiet time activity all on their own. We added a twist to our block play by creating building block puzzle challenges. This is such a simple, yet rich learning activity.
- Quiet Time Activities for Busy Boys. – As you now know, my busy kids inspired my love (NEED!) for Quiet Time. So if you think that your crazy, busy kids will not succeed with Quiet Time, I assure you there is a way (see Getting Started section above). These busy activities for busy kids can still be quiet and satisfy their busy itch.
Literacy Activities for Preschool Quiet Time
- Quiet Time Alphabet Activities. – There are so many ways to engage little ones in learning their letters. If things start to feel a little stale, grab an idea from this list. Be comforted in knowing that much learning can occur by simply placing the alphabet in a quiet bin for your preschooler to interact freely with.
- Popsicle Name Puzzles. – Make a name puzzle for everyone in your family in a flash! Increase your child’s familiarity with the letters of their name and of their family with this unique and easy puzzle.
- Making Story Magnets. – Quickly turn your child’s favorite story into a set of magnets they can use again and again. Preschoolers can retell their story through pictures, become familiar with key sight words, learn letters, spell common words and more!
Preschool Number Activities for Quiet Time
- 5 Busy Bags with Any Deck of Cards. – These simple numeracy games can be added to a quiet bin for lengthy, focused play. The beauty of only needing a deck of cards for this learning activity means you can pop them in a busy box and take them on the go!
- Homemade Stuffed Felt Numbers. – Make this as a DIY gift for that special toddler or preschooler in your life, or simply make a set for your own use. These cozy little numbers are so engaging to play with they will make any number learning game super fun.
- Nancy Number Face. – This creative way to play with numbers is always a hit with my kids, no matter their age. Little ones get a chance to be creative and explore number shapes in a whole new way.
- Rainbow Fine Motor Sensory Bin. – Count beads, create patterns, sort colors, compare sizes. The mathematical learning that can happen with this sensory quiet bin is astronomical!
Creative Quiet Time Activities for Preschoolers
- Loose Parts Play Ideas. – If you have never heard of loose parts play, let me be the first to change your life! Setting up a loose parts play quiet bin is so easy and gives your toddler or preschooler an amazing open-ended opportunity to be creative.
- Super Easy DIY Loom Bracelets. – When your child sees what they can create by looming, they will be so excited to start! This activity is easy to set-up and will keep your little one busy for a long time. It’s always fabulous when Quiet Time results in a creation your child can be proud of.
- The Easiest Woven Baskets. – Similar to looming, weaving can result in beautiful yet simple creations. Practicing weaving during quiet time strengthens fine motor skills, increases focus and builds dexterity.
- Building Pictures. – Get those creative ideas off the page by inviting your kids to build pictures vertically. Building pictures is an awesome early STEM learning activity that will definitely keep little artists and engineers busy for a while. Quiet time activities for kids can be so creative!
- Clothespin Build-a-Snowman. – See how creative your preschooler can get with the many variations for building a snowman. Challenge them to draw a picture of each snowman they make.
- Handy Kids Bracelet. – Here’s another creation that will provide your child with some quiet, focused rest. Encourage your little one to use unique materials as beads and create a bracelet, ring or necklace that truly reflects their personality. My son loved using washers, nuts, bolts and screws for his creations.
STEM Activities for Quiet Time
- Turn the Water Table into an Inventor’s Table. – STEM quiet time ideas for kids can be VERY easy! By gathering various tools and everyday household items into one location, you can create an amazing invitation to create! This open-ended STEM activity encourages kids to explore how objects move, fit together and can be used and re-used for different purposes. Little inventors will be busy for hours!
- Slingshot Quiet Bins. – Using pompoms guarantees the “quiet” element of this STEM quiet time idea for kids. Toss different holders and elastics and other quiet launching objects to encourage your kids curiosity. Which slingshot works the best? Which object gets launched the farthest? How?
- Easy DIY Light Table. – Light tables are all the rage these days – well, for some kids – and for good reason! Building objects, making pictures, blending colors looks very different when done over a light table. I scoured the internet for the most low-budget way to make our own DIY light table. And it was done in 10 minutes!
Even More Quiet Time Ideas for Kids
- 54 Mess Free Quiet Time Activities for 3 Year Olds. – These independent, learning activities help improve fine motor skills, encourage creativity and expose little ones to early literacy and numeracy concepts through play. All the while keeping the mess at bay!
- Quiet Time Activities for 2 Year Olds. – This collection of quiet time ideas for kids is perfect for our younger toddlers’ curious minds. Use common items to help your little one explore through sensory and fine motor development.
- Quiet Time Ideas for Young Toddlers – We have frequently been asked for Quiet Time activities suited for little ones who still love mouthing objects. Here’s a collection of our favorite mouth-happy, safe and easy quiet time activities for young toddlers.
- Calming Activities for Preschoolers. – Sometimes you can afford a little rambunctiousness during quiet time, as long as it’s, well, quiet. On other days, everyone benefits from a much calmer break. These activities are guaranteed to bring on the calm.
Fine Motor Building Busy Boxes
- Tried and True Busy Bags. – How is a busy bag different from a quiet bin, you ask? Some use the terms interchangeably, but I like to emphasize that quiet, calm and rest is the purpose of my kids’ quiet time. I call the bins we use for that restorative time, “quiet time bins.” If we are running errands or attending long appointments, I may bring a busy box or busy bag to keep my kiddos engaged. Busy box items simply tend to be more easily transportable, but are still great independent, learning activities for kids.
- Independent Toddler Activities. – I share some quiet time pro tips and how to use common craft supplies in multiple ways to keep your toddler engaged. All. By. Him. Self.
- Simple Activities for Kids to do When Mama is Sick. – Quiet time is always amazing, but even more amazing when your body has decided not to function properly. Keep this go-to list on hand for the easiest quiet bins to whip up no matter how messy life gets.
I told you I would get you all set for quiet time ideas for kids! Here is hoping you found an idea or two (or fifty!) just perfect for you and your toddler, preschooler, or big kid. I really do believe children of all ages benefit from the wonderful magic of a daily quiet time.
Heck, quiet time is needed for adults as well! And I certainly don’t mean time alone to do the dishes or laundry. We all need meaningful, restful periods throughout our days. Can I encourage YOU to think of a few quiet time activities for yourself to do while your children are resting as well?
Happy quiet time!