The Best Toys & Activities That Will Give You Peace & Quiet
Montessori Educator, Christina Clemer, shares her top toys and activities for play during quiet time
With so much of childhood revolving around nap schedules, it can come as a bit of a shock when your child stops napping. This is especially true if you work from home and rely on those precious nap time hours to get some uninterrupted work done.
This is where “quiet time” comes in. Quiet time is basically the same as nap time…but without the sleeping. It’s a set period of time each day when older toddlers or preschoolers play independently.
If you have a rambunctious three year-old on your hands, this may seem laughable, but if you make it part of the daily routine, they will come accept it and even look forward to it. Not only does this allow you a bit of time to yourself, it’s wonderful for helping children learn to play and entertain themselves independently. It also gives them a much needed restful period in the middle of the day when they’re no longer sleeping.
To establish a quiet time routine, keep these two things in mind:
Routine: Start and end quiet time at the same time every day, just as you would do with nap. Try using a digital clock to let your child know when quiet time is over. This prevents them from constantly asking you!
Show them what a “3” looks like if they don’t know and say, “When the clock says 3, quiet time is done.” Try covering the minute numbers with tape to make it less confusing.
Rotation: For many children, it’s helpful to have certain toys and books that are only available at quiet time. Rotate these every couple of months to keep it interesting for them!
The Best Toys for Quiet Time
So what types of toys should you include for quiet time? These work the best:
Reading / Listening
Even if your child is not yet reading, a basket of beautiful books to look at is a great restful activity.
Audio books are also an excellent option. The Lunii Storyteller even allows kids to choose the story themselves, no screens needed!
For quiet time, you want the kind of activity your child can get lost in. For many kids, this means building. Switch out the building materials available to your child as you see their interest waning. Encourage them to combine different types of blocks.
Drawing is a naturally calming activity perfect for quiet time. Provide some special crayons or pencils only for quiet time or, if you don’t yet trust your tot alone with art supplies, try these no-mess Water Changing Cards!
Imaginative play is another area where young children can lose track of time and explore different concepts on their own. Whether your child loves trains, space or castles, there’s something to support their interest!
- The best imaginary play items are those that allow for open-ended play and enable your child to lead and guide the play to new levels. See our guide to top toy picks to facilitate imaginary play!
- Wondering how you should be helping your baby develop independence and reach important developmental milestones? In this guide we share five simple Montessori tips for encouraging independence from the beginning.