Setting up a quiet time activities bin? Here are my best suggestions!
Having a quiet time each day for my kids is necessary in our house. It’s necessary for the kids to have a break from each other and me – it’s necessary for me to get a break from them. I made a quiet time activities bin to help keep them playing quietly for even longer.
RELATED: Looking for tips for setting up quiet time? Check out my post with all my tips!
A little schedule and a little bin goes a long way
Quiet time wasn’t going so great over here until I took my own advice (eye roll) and set up some firm, clear, and consistent boundaries around this once ambiguous time of day.
By putting in place an actual schedule (rather than a loose “quiet time” statement), we were able to transform quiet time into a really nice part of our daily schedule.
Learn more about this schedule in my Quiet Time Tips post, but briefly, here’s what we do:
- 1:00-2:00 pm – Play Time (in their rooms)
- 2:00-2:30 pm – Quiet Time Bin (in the family room)
- 2:30-3:00 pm – Screen Time (also in the family room)
This two hour block is so important for my family – it’s important for my big kids to have quiet, independent time. It’s important for me (running a business) and my husband (working from home) to have this brief uninterrupted work time. We need quiet time and we never feel guilty about it.
RELATED: Looking for a daily schedule while stuck home? See what I’m doing here!
Part of a great quiet time is great quiet time activities
After my kids have their independent play time in their rooms, they come downstairs to play with the quiet time bin next. Although I have our schedule set up for 30 mins with this bin…. my kids regularly spent much more time in these quiet time activities and supplies, and don’t start screen time until well after 2:30.
We set up our house with a predictable order of events, not based on military time. They can flex as they need to.
Before I had this bin, quiet time wasn’t going so well. Making this bin for my kids and setting up quiet time into three chunks (rather than one long setting) made all the difference.
Here’s what I put in our quiet time activities bin:
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OMG, thanks Grandma Lala!! These are the best. The kids can’t get enough. We have at least 5 books now and the kids haven’t tired of them.
I’ve never been a fan of workbooks but I do love mazes, dot to dots, and the like. Having a giant book full of these fun games is great for ages 5+.
These giant color pads are FANTASTIC. They have detail but not too small. The pictures are intricate but not overwhelming. The orientation and size of the book makes them so much better than traditional coloring books.
Make sure you have crayons too – fresh crayons breathe life into kid art.
This game is fantastic for kids (and adults). Kids can play ALONE or quietly with a sibling. Fantastic game to add to your bin.
Do you own dominoes? I love having them for kids! They’re a surprisingly simple open-ended toy for kids to build and learn with.
A super fun quiet time “gimmick” – who doesn’t love writing on a dry erase board? This one is also magnetic so we’ll use it for the next item on this list.
Do you have dry erase markers? I love owning different colors for my kids!
Magnets are the best – and letting kids freely explore with them is a huge part of literacy education. These pair awesome with a magnetic white board.
Another great sticker option and these are reusable! Each pad comes with scenes/backgrounds that kids can set up and play with.
Do your kids own this classic yet? Oh they’re so fun to look through and get lost in.
Another classic – my kids have been into I-Spy books since they were toddlers. There’s something magical about these pages…
Do you have a kindergartener or older? Make sure they have a journal write in. Kids need the change to write about there day and having a dedicated space can help.
Bonus tip: Write questions and letters to your child to have them answer back. This promotes writing practice but in a fun, low-stress way. Pass notes daily.
Who doesn’t love memory? My kids will play this alone or with siblings – it works in our bin!
We have several of these Smithsonian books for kids and they are amazing to flip through. I added them to our bin because they’re so inviting to look at.
You remember these from grade school right? We have the bigger 9×9 size and they are the best!!
Don’t overlook the importance of the quiet time activities bin!
With all things parenting, we have to be proactive. Setting up a great quiet time bin promotes kids sitting and having that engaged, focused play time. Rather than expecting the kids to know what to do, give them some options with this bin.
Our bin lives downstairs and the kids mostly leave it alone through the day (though I don’t police that – I trust them to choose what’s right for them when it’s right for them).
Find what will work best for your family and your kids – of course, this is simply what works for mine.