The news was just released that little ones in my province will have 3 weeks off of school! So I thought this the absolute perfect time to share some Quiet Time Kids Activities that use materials you already have at home.
Now, we homeschool, so this news doesn’t hold quite the same weight to us as it does to many. Staying home with my kids is what I do! Of course, we do have activities almost every day of the week, and with those being cancelled I am going to be needing to get a little creative myself as well.
I recently shared with you our daily schedule for a day when we will be home all day long. That schedule shares how we create a lovely rhythm and flow to our day, alternating between times of together and times alone, time that we are busy and time that we are quiet.
Since we are going to be spending more and more time together at home over the coming weeks, I know that the “time alone” piece will become very important.
On this blog I share oodles (and oodles) of quiet time activities with you. I have created two different quiet time eBooks all about how to make quiet time a central part to your day and filled them with wonderful quiet time ideas. You can (and should!) grab an electronic copy right here: Quiet Time eBooks. These eBooks will be your sanity savers in the coming days.
I also thought it wise to share some Quiet Time Kids Activities you can do right now using things you already have on hand.
Quiet Time Kids Activities (with materials you already have at home!)
Perhaps you are quarantined, or not able to get to a store. You need some independent play ideas using regular household items! We are talking cookie sheets, measuring cups, books, stuffies, pillows, things that are in almost every home.
Here they are my friends!
Quiet Time Activities using the Kitchen Sink
Simple Soapy Bubbles Water Play – fill up that kitchen sink with a little bit of warm water and some bubbles and let the little ones play. Add a few spoons or cups and leave the faucet running just the slightest bit to really add in some exciting new elements. Be sure to surround the sink (and floor) with towels.
Lego Sensory Play in the Sink by Bounceback Parenting – Adding LEGO bricks to the sink with some soap and water is not only a fun tactile sensory experience for kids, but it will also get those LEGO bricks clean!
Melting Icebergs by Stir the Wonder – This sensory sink activity offers an interesting sensory experience with warm water and cold ice, but also makes for a great science discussion about icebergs, polar animals and climate change.
Colander Pour in the Kitchen Sink by Busy Toddler – Colanders are such a fun kitchen item for little kids to play with and explore. They make playing in the kitchen sink with water so fun because they sound and feel like rain showers.
Simple Sink or Float Experiment for Toddlers by Hands On As We Grow – Will the Barbie float and the toy truck sink? Fill up the kitchen sink, gather up some random toys and let your kids experiment!
Washing Toys Sensory Play for Toddlers by My Bored Toddler – Help your children collect some toys that need washing, fill up the sink with soapy water and let them go to town scrubbing those toys that could use some much needed washing! Not only is this a quiet activity but it will help keep your home germ free!
Imaginative Play Quiet Time Ideas
Socks on the Clotheslines – Grab some socks and string some yarn from chair to chair. Little ones will have a great time hanging up socks on this line, You could add a wet cloth so sicks could get washed before going on the line to dry as well. Perhaps some doll clothes might need a little wash as well?
DIY Puppets – You can make puppets out of almost anything, including recyclables or old socks and some basic craft supplies. Then your kids can have fun putting on puppet shows! Set up a simple puppet theatre by hanging a sheet across a couple kitchen chairs.
X-Ray Dramatic Play – Make a simple pretend play x-ray with a box and some foil. Set out some bandages, syringes and a pretend doctor kit. Then let your children take care of their stuffed animals at a pretend vet clinic.
Indoor Camping Imaginative Play by Arts & Crackers – With this free printable and some empty paper towel rolls your kiddos can have fun pretending to cook hot dogs and roast marshmallows for s’mores while camping in the living room! Don’t forget to build a blanket fort for a tent!
Pretend Grocery Store by What We Can Do with Paper & Glue – Save some empty food boxes or gather some from your pantry and set up a little grocery store for your kiddos. They will have fun shopping for their favorite foods as well as learning about counting money, calculating change and budgeting.
Make a Tissue Box Toy Car Wash by Craft, Learn & Play – Save some empty tissue boxes to make a couple simple toy car washes. Little kids will love pretending to wash their toy cars and trucks with this simple craft.
Printable Roads for Imaginative Play by Picklebums – Download and print off some paper roads to add to your children’s pretend play with cars and trucks! They will have an awesome time building roads for a mini city all over the living room floor!
Kitchen Items Quiet Time Play
Pipecleaners in a Collander – If you don’t have pipecleaners on hand, never fear, this works brilliantly with yarn or string as well. Little one’s can weave the yarn in and out of the colander’s holes creating beautiful works of art.
Rubber Bands on a Can by Hands On As We Grow – When you need your little ones to be busy for a little while a pile of rubber bands and a can, bottle or jar will have them quietly working on their fine motor skills while you get some work done.
Muffin Tin Geoboard by And Next Comes L – Muffin tins can be used for more than just baking muffins, if you turn it over it becomes an interesting place to stretch rubber bands over. Ask your little ones to design shapes and pictures on the underside of the muffin tin.
Rainbow Writing Salt Tray from Nurture Store – Kids will have fun drawing and writing in a thin layer of salt on a cookie sheet. You can make it more interesting by taping colorful paper to the bottom of the tray before adding the salt.
Kitchen Whisk Baby Fine Motor Skills Sensory Activity by Hello, Wonderful – A simple kitchen whisk and some pom pom balls can make a fun fine motor activity for babies and toddlers.
Magnet Letters on a Cookie Sheet– Kids of all ages can use magnet letters on a cookie sheet to practice letter recognition, sight words or spelling words in this fun, hands-on way!
Tinkering Quiet Time Play
A Handy Kids Bracelet – if you have washers down in the basement somewhere, now is a great time to pull them out! Kids can turn those washers into gorgeous bracelets using this simple technique. My little boys love making these bracelets.
Inventors Table – Grab a box, bin, or any sort of container and empty out that junk drawer! Start saving bottle caps, pop tabs, paper towel rolls, all of those treasures. Little ones can use this bin full of treasures to create amazing things. We like to call ours an inventors table!
Make a Paper Plate Maze STEM Challenge from Raising Lifelong Learners – Set out some paper plates, straws, tape or glue with some marbles and invite your big kids to create a maze using the supplies provided. Challenge them to create increasingly complex mazes and work the marbles through the maze without dropping the ball!
Cut and Glue Station from Busy Toddler – Set out a variety of recycled papers, boxes, scissors and glue. Then invite your kids to get creative. This is a wonderful activity for practicing fine motor and creative skills for kids of all ages.
Marshmallows & Straws Tinker Activity from For the Love of Learning – This simple tinker activity is perfect for older toddlers and younger preschoolers because it uses big marshmallows and straws rather than toothpicks! Just set out these two materials and let your young child build to their hearts content!
Build a Straw Roller Coaster by Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls – This is a simple tinker/STEM activity for older kids. Supply them with straws, hot glue and a cardboard box for a base and challenge them to build a roller coaster for a ping pong or similar ball.
Newspaper Play Structures from Inner Child Fun – This BIG tinker project will provide your kids with hours of fun! All that is needed is newpaper and tape or some other material to attach the newspaper together such as staples or pipe cleaners.
DIY Cardboard Tube Construction by Picklebums – Once you have a bunch of cardboard tubes saved up from toilet paper and paper towels you can make these cool construction pieces and have your children build towers and other structures. These could be fun to create artistic sculptures or used for imaginative play.
Quiet Time with a Deck of Card
5 Busy Bags using ONE deck of cards – This post is one of my very favourites. In it I share five different quiet time activities that my children love, all with only a deck of cards. I mean, we can’t get much easier than this one, right?! There are ideas that are perfect for very little kids, and some that are sure to engage big kids too.
Bridge Builder Instant Challenge by Homeschool Creations – Challenge your older kids to build a bridge only using a deck of cards and a pair of scissors. How much weight it will hold? How long can you build it?
Teach Your Kids to Code with a Deck of Cards by Teach You Kids to Code – Using a deck of cards and some small toys you or an older child can teach your your young children about coding in a fun, hands-on, and unplugged way.
Single Player Card Games by Kids Activities – Teach your kids single player card games. These games are a great way to unplug and pass the time. Some fun games include Classic Solitaire, Accordion, Streets and Alleys and Klondike.
Math with a Deck of Cards – You can also use a deck of cards to practice math skills such as addition, subtraction and multiplication. Simply draw from a deck of cards to create numbers to be added, subtracted or multiplied.
Quiet Moments in a Jar
Quiet Moments in a Jar – All of the ideas above are meant to be lovely quiet time activities you can schedule into your day using materials you already have at home. This post, I have realized, is full of ideas that would work very well to fill this need. I had originally written this post for a Mama who needed no-prep activities she could use with her children straight away to keep them busy for 15 minutes. But these ideas would be fabulous for quiet time as well.
I often find that once my little ones are engaged in an activity they will play and play away changing course and activities again and again very naturally. It is just getting them settled into an activity at first that is my challenge.
That is why I use quiet bins or quiet time activities like these ones. They are engaging and fun helping little ones settle into a relaxing, lovely time all on their own.
Which means, of course, I get time all on my own too! And this, my friends, is very, very important.
Happy quiet time!
If you need even more Quiet Time Activities, you can find ALL of mine right here in one place: