Quiet time activities for kids. What are these, exactly? Quiet time is what parents and child care professionals like Summit Children’s Center are faced with when a child no longer naps but is still young enough to require much-needed rest time. It’s generally in the afternoon hours when children tend to head off on their own and play by themselves for an hour or two.
Children fight naps, it takes too long to put them down, and it is sometimes just impossible. Don’t feel guilty about this. It’s just another rite of passage in a young child’s development. The naps eventually disappear and quiet time begins to fill the void. Summit Children’s Center has picked out our favorite quiet time activities for kids to share with you! First, read about the benefits of quiet time.
Quiet Time Activity Benefits
Kids get a much-needed break from each other.
Kids love one another and will play together well. But sometimes it’s difficult to be with the same child and not be allowed personal time and space. Quiet time activities for kids allow them to learn independence and solitude.
Parents or daycare teachers also get a little relief.
We love our kids, of course, but we also like a little peace and quiet too. Adults use this time to get other things accomplished (cleaning, cooking, a small project, a few minutes of television, some quiet reading, whatever). It’s important that everyone have a little time alone.
Rest – physical and mental.
At some point, you’ll actually prefer your child doesn’t nap, so as to not spoil bedtime. But kids need to slow their bodies down for a couple of hours because they get tired physically. School can really wear out some children. Quiet time activities for your child helps with recharging so they can cope with the rest of the day. Being quiet, with minimal talking, not having to perform or be their best is a great way to just relax.
Quiet time works like this
1:00 in the afternoon is a good time to have quiet time. If you are out of the house or the kids aren’t in school, it can be pushed to a later hour, but consistency is the key if you can manage to get it on a regular schedule. The rule at home is: you can’t come out of your room until quiet time is over (or when mommy comes to get you). No exceptions. A KindleFire is a great quiet time activity for kids. Preset it with kid-friendly options, of course, and block everything else. No matter the activity, it must be done completely alone – because the child isn’t coming out and mom or teacher isn’t coming in.
Quiet Time Activities for Kids
To your amazement, however, kids will not always want to play videos or watch a device. So we are giving you some great ideas for quiet time activities for kids. Shhhh, be very quiet, and let’s begin.
The Quiet Game
There are countless variations for playing this game. Some families play it on road trips or in public places or even during dinner. A simple way to begin is with the one child you determine to be “the quietest” in the room. They start the game by picking the “second quietest” one in the room, and that person picks the next, and so on.
Although it sounds rather simple, kids love it because they are being rewarded for exactly what you want from them – being quiet. The game can last for an hour or more. For a little twist, have the children sit quietly in a small circle. Have one child walk around the circle and select who they think is the quietest by gently patting them on the head. Then that person goes next, and so on. This version can go on for quite a while and you’ll love the peace and quiet.
You may know this exercise already, but it’s a great way to settle kids and be quiet. Have the children sit in a small circle, then select one person to start. That person will whisper a phrase in the next person’s ear. That person has to pass it on, and so on – whispering the entire time. In the end, it is fun (and funny) to hear the correct phrase spoken out loud.
This one is easy and it always brings smiles to all of the kids. Whisper in each child’s ear what type of statue you would like to see them pose as. Animals are fun (monkeys, elephants) and so are officials (policeman, etc.). On the count five, the kids must stop moving and hold into their statue. As the parent or teacher, you get to pick “the best” statue. The winner picks the next best, and so on. Remember, statues are quiet.
Monkey See. Monkey Do
You’ll love this game. Select one child to view all the other kids while they make silly movements. The first one who laughs is eliminated. The last one remaining is the winner.
Always have a bottle of bubbles on hand. They come in handy for so many reasons, and they don’t make a sound. Consequently, the perfect quiet time activity for toddlers! The bubble activities are endless.
There are plenty of great apps and educational games for smartphones today. Prescreen all the available choices for age appropriateness, and download a few quiet time activities for kids. Surprise your child with a quiet time app game.
Kids love this game, especially the boys. They won’t tire of it for hours. It also works great in the car. Kids hold their thumbs pointing straight up, facing each other. Players link their remaining fingers. On the count of three, players try to “pin” one another’s thumbs down.
Rock, paper, scissors
Everyone knows this game. Each player should form a fist, pound their other hand while chanting “Rock, paper, scissors.” Each child makes a rock, paper or scissors action with their fisted hand. You know the rules: Rock crushes scissors, paper covers rock, and scissors cut paper. When your children get the hang of it, announce the game is now in “silent mode.”
Heads Up, Seven Up
Wasn’t this every kid’s favorite activity in school? It requires a big group, so this is terrific in a preschool environment. Everyone puts their heads down on their desks and their thumbs sticking up in the air. Seven kids are selected to touch the thumbs of one child. There will be seven in all. After all seven are tapped, the tappers return to their chairs silently. Then everyone is able to look up and open their eyes. Those tapped must stand and try to guess who tapped them. Switch and repeat for hours of fun.
Always have some notebook paper handy. Kids love Tic-Tac-Toe and will play at the drop of a hat. It’s fun, silent, and they love trying to learn what strategy is best for winning the game.
First Name Game
Select a person’s first name and print it on a piece of paper, each letter under the other. Children get three minutes to think of and write down all the first names they can come up with – beginning with the same letters in the name. Kids get a point for every name they can think of. Five points for an original name that nobody else thinks of.
Put Skittles in a clear container. Choose two teams of kids. With eyes closed, each child reaches in and selects a Skittle. The teams get points for getting each available color in their collection. The first team to 100 wins the game.
Summit Children’s Center believes quiet is key, and we hope this list of quiet time activities for kids unlocks the door to a relaxing and peaceful quiet time. Contact Summit Children’s for any questions and take a tour today!