Our quiet time is typically a 1-hour period during the day when everyone is in a separate room of the house and plays quietly on their own. I can’t even tell you how beneficial quiet time is for our entire family. We typically have it after lunch (which is also when my toddlers would nap when we were in that phase of life).
It not only gives me a chance to recharge and have a few moments of peace, but it’s incredibly beneficial for my kids. With a big family, there’s a lot of stimulation, noise, and constant energy. Quiet time give the kids a moment to be alone. It gives them a chance to play on their own. It encourages their creativity and helps them build the skill of self-entertainment. I also notice that my kids are often incredibly creative during quiet time and I love seeing the things they come up with during that time each day.
Our quiet time rules are as follows:
We’ve spent years working on our quiet time skills and it takes work and persistence to implement, but is SO worth it.
Here are 5 tips to get your started:
It’s always worked best for us to have each child in a different room with the door closed. This allows them true “alone” time and prevents arguments and fighting over toys. When kids share a room, we switch off every other day having one child in the shared room and the other child somewhere else (a play room, adult bedroom, guest room, etc).
If your child is nervous or resistant to being in a room with the door closed, you can allow them to leave it open as long as they remain quiet. Or you can use a baby gate for toddlers so that they can still see outside of the room, but have a barrier from the rest of the house.
Whether it’s toys from the play room or even toy bins you keep separate just for quiet time, it’s nice to set the kids up with something to do. My kids usually love some type of building blocks because they can do so many things with them. Plus plus, legos, lego duplos, and lincoln logs are some favorites at our house.
I have a whole blog post about creating “boredom boxes” that could be really helpful for quiet time as well.
I have a quiet time treat basket that the kids can choose from before they go into their rooms. I keep it separate from our other kitchen and pantry snacks so that it feels like a special treat. They aren’t normally allowed to eat in their bedrooms, so it’s a luxury that they get to pick a snack for quiet time.
If you’re just starting out and have really young kids, you may need to start small and work your way up with time. It may even start as a 5-10 minute quiet time and then work up to 30 or 60 minutes. It’s helpful to set the expectation and also have a visual clock to countdown the time. We love this visual timer that allows younger kids to see how much time has passed and even beep when the time is over.
If you don’t set an expectation with time and have a visual, kids may end up calling from their room every minute or two asking how much time is left.
Although you may have some resistance in the beginning, with consistency children get used to routine and quickly learn what the expectations are. Some of my kids resisted quiet time in the beginnings, but over time they started to realize how nice it was to have a little break from the chaos. My older kids often ask for quiet time because it’s become such an important and consistent part of our routine.
I am not exaggerating when I say that quiet time is one of the best routines we’ve implemented with our family. It’s taught my kids patience, creativity, independent thinking, and routine. It allows us all a re-charge in the middle of the day and when we all come together again we’re rested and happy to start the second half of the day.
No, it doesn’t always go perfectly. There are sometimes bumps and obstacles that come up (especially in the beginning), but the pros FAR outweigh the cons. And if you’re somehow feeling guilty for implementing a quiet time for your kids, I can promise you that it’s JUST as beneficial for them as it is for you!
I hope you’ve found these quiet time tips helpful! If you have any additional tips or questions, I’d love to hear them in the comments.
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