Infants and toddlers need quite a bit of sleep, and nap time is a common method to help them get it. As they get older, nap time gets phased out, often replaced by a similar method of working or playing for a while without disturbing others. Quiet time activities help them do that by giving children activities to do during the quiet period. We have listed a few quiet time activities for small children which can be easily modified to suit your needs and the educational level of your kids.
BooksBooks with few words and many brightly colored pictures allow your children to entertain themselves. Keeping a child’s library of books suited for their abilities allows you to transform quiet time into “Silent Reading Time,” which is more appealing to children and provides an accurate description of what they are expected to do.
PuzzlesPuzzle solving is another age-old activity for small children. This is often a youngster’s first foray into developing problem-solving skills, and most kids enjoy manipulating puzzle pieces and watching a picture materialize through their own choices. Puzzles are available for all age ranges, including small children who are just beginning to develop fine motor skills.
Building with BlocksPlastic or wooden blocks help children to quietly learn to manipulate objects with precision. As with puzzles, interlocking blocks and smooth-sided blocks are available for kids of almost any age and introduces the concept that all things are composed of smaller objects which are arranged in different ways.
Connect-the-Dots and TracingConnect-the-dot or picture tracing activities are another way to help reinforce fine motor skills. To give children more incentive to do these activities, keep a bulletin board nearby which contains their artwork. This makes it possible for them to share their projects with others. You can also staple a thin sheet of clear, hard plastic over the pages so that the slate can be wiped clean and the work repeated as often as the child prefers.
Letter and Number WorkbooksPreschoolers and kindergartners are ready to become engaged in the use of words and numbers. You can turn a spiral notebook into an activity book by creating work pages of letter, word, and number lists with a space to repeat the process below what you have done. Begin with the alphabet and number recognition, then progress to short words and simple arithmetic as the children advance through their learning.
The ideas presented here will probably lead you to other ideas for quiet time activities. The idea is to keep children quietly occupied and engaged, and the activity can be as simple or advanced as your children are ready to take on. At Montessori Children's House, we incorporate quiet time activities into the daily schedule. To learn more about the Montessori method, contact us today.