Tuesday, November 29, 2016

5 Quiet Time Activities

As a work-from-home momma, nap time is a sacred 2 hours of the day where I get as much work done as possible. About 6 months ago, Hayden started transitioning out of naps. To save the time for working, I instituted quiet time in the place of nap time. Hayden was more than happy to play in his room and have quiet time. However, without any given activity, he would inevitably take out every. single. toy. in his room and wind up with a huge mess at the end of each day. So, I started scouring Pinterest for some ideas. (You can check out my Quiet Time board here.)
1. Paper, scissors, glue stick, and scotch tape (you can buy cheap off-brand tape): Hayden loves this and makes creations with paper. This activity can keep him engaged for over an hour.
2. Spider web and tongs: I laced ribbon through a basket with holes and put a bunch of plastic spiders down in the basket. (You could also use pom poms or other small objects). I gave him a pair of plastic ice tongs and had him reach between the "web" to collect all the spiders.
3. Money sorting: Another favorite! I collected change from around the house and gave him 4 little containers (I happened to have money stickers from my teaching days but you could also tape a coin on top to designate). He would sort the money, dump it out and sort it again. I also put out a toy cash register for him.
 4. Toothpicks and marshmallows: This is a fun building activity. Kids can create shapes by linking the marshmallows and toothpicks together. 
5. Sorting by color: I dyed a bunch of rice different colors and collected random objects that are the same color. I had the kids sort the objects based on the color of the rice. They both liked the feeling of the rice and we are still playing with these boxes 2 months later.
6. DIY Slime: Hayden is obsessed with this and he's very careful, so I trust him to play with it in his room without super vision. It's super easy to make and I give him a giant cookie sheet and lots of play dough tools.  He's very good about keeping the slime on the cookie sheet so it doesn't get on the rug or anywhere else. 
Not all the activities I plan are winners, but with trial and error, I've found a few that he loves! This plan has decreased screen time in our house. Even when I give Hayden the option of using the iPad, he typically chooses to play in his room. I can't wait to break out some more winter/holiday themed activities. I'd love to hear what creative independent play ideas you have for your kids! 

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