I remember when my first son was really small and I would look forward to his naptime so that I could have a break and grab a shower. I remember the joy that I felt when he finally settled into 2 naps a day: the glorious 2 hour nap in the morning and the wonderful hour nap right before dinner. I also remember the terror and fear that struck my heart when he switched to one nap a day and then the disappointment when he stopped napping altogether.
When boy #2 arrived it was the same roller coaster of emotions. When he started showing signs of giving up naps I knew that I needed to find something that would let me have a few moments during the day to regain my sanity and something that would help my boys get the rest and downtime they needed. Quiet time activities were the answer!
Quiet Time Activities for Your Non-Napping Children
When my boys stopped napping I knew that they still needed time to rest during the day even if they didn’t need to sleep. I came up with a list of things that they could do in their rooms quietly for an hour while I had some time to get some work done or occasionally get some rest myself.
Audiobooks are our favorite quiet time activity. My boys love listening to the stories and the thing that I love is that I can tell them to listen to X number of chapters or the whole thing before they get up or come out of their room. This keeps them from coming out or yelling down the hall every 5 minutes “Is it time to get up yet?”. Here are some of our favorite audiobooks:
- Jonathan Park Audio Series
- Brinkman Adventures Audio Series
- Focus on the Family Chronicles of Narnia Audiodrama
- Winnie the Pooh series
- Gooney Bird Collection
- The Boxcar Children
Other activities that work well for quiet time:
Making the Transition to Quiet Time
My boys usually listen to an audiobook in their beds for about and hour and then get up and play quietly in their room for another hour. It took some time to get to this point. If your children are really young or new to quiet time you may need to start in smaller increments and work your way up to your desired amount of time. Use a timer so that you child won’t have to ask you every minute if quiet time is over. Also make sure that everyone has had lunch and some time to run around and burn off some energy before starting quiet time.
Here are a few other tips to help you get started:
- A baby gate is a helpful for little ones so that they don’t leave their room. It gives them a safe, structured place to play.
- Be consistent: if you are going to transition to quiet time, stick to it. Don’t allow your children to argue or negotiate with you.
- Rotate activities so that your children don’t get bored. Have things that only come out during quiet time or maybe have a scheduled rotation.
Do you have any favorite activities or tips to add to this list? What do your non nappers do?