Today I am joining up with Lisa at Life of a Happy Mom to discuss Quite Time ideas for Preschoolers. Head on over to her blog and check out her ideas!
As for me... I've tried numerous things. And some things work for a time, and then have to be switched around and changed a bit. Life changes, your children continue to grow and their needs change. So, with this in mind, let me share a few ideas that have or haven't worked for me!
Hannah is 3 1/2 and so I still put her down for a nap each day. She may or may not actually fall asleep, but she is in bed for an hour and a half to two hours each afternoon while her brother (age 2) sleeps. At this point, she'll typically actually fall asleep only a couple of times per week. The rest of the time, she knows it's Quiet Time. So, here are some ideas for you and your preschooler because we all know-Mama needs some quiet moments too!
One thing that I know DOES NOT work is coloring. That is, unless you want your walls and pillowcases lovely shades and patterns of blues, reds and greens! Keep the coloring to a time when your child can be supervised! Ha!
One thing that does work, however, are Felt Books. Also called Quiet Books. Just google "Quiet Books" or "How to make Quiet Books" and you will come up with a whole list of resources! These are not only fantastic for Quiet time, but also for church! Hannah loves to get creative with them and she'll entertain herself by telling stories to herself about all the different felts.
Another fun and quiet activity is playing dolls. Put a pile of dollies clothes on the bed, a baby bottle and the baby doll and you've got an activity that can keep a preschooler occupied for quite some time!
Sometimes I'll just place a stack of books on her bed for her to look through-with explicit directions that she may look at the books, but she may NOT tear any of the pages (leared from experience!!) She'll quietly look through the books and sometimes she'll fall asleep while doing so.
Story tapes/cd's are also nice. They can be played quietly in the room-either character building stories or Bible stories. One nice series that we enjoy is My Bible Friends-it tells well known Bible stories and it has a set of books to go along with it. The child can flip through the pages and turn each page when they hear a "ding" on the cassette.
A sticker book is also quiet fun and has been known to keep Hannah busy for quite some time.
A pile of stuffed animals (such as Beanie Babies) can be fun too. Hannah likes to make up stories with her animals and have quiet chats with them. (very cute to eavesdrop on)
These are a few tried and true ideas that have worked at different times for me. Sometimes, she doesn't want anything. She just wants to lay there. In those cases, she'll often roll around on her bed, kicking her legs and singing quiet songs to herself.
The main idea is to have a "Quiet Time." A time to regroup and refocus. A time to chill. A time to be apart. A time to rest.
I'd love to hear your ideas for what you do to make Quiet Time work for your preschool age children!