This post is sponsored by OwlCrate Jr. All opinions are my own.
Life with 5 kids can get awfully busy sometimes, and I definitely have my fair share of moments when I feel totally overwhelmed. There’s just so much noise! And movement! So it’s really important to me to maintain a quiet time for kids routine so we can all recharge every day. It’s so good for me AND for them, and it makes the days go so much more smoothly.
Reading is a big part of our quiet time routine for kids. While the younger two nap, the three older kids spend an hour reading, and an hour doing other quiet activities. I love that OwlCrate Jr is perfect for both of these things!
My two older kids are voracious readers, and especially with our libraries still closed, the OwlCrate Jr subscription (aimed at kids ages 8-12) is especially helpful. It comes with a couple of bookish goodies to go along with the reading, too, which is always fun, and you can use the code PASSPORT15 to get 15% off your first order!
Benefits of Quiet Time
There are so many benefits to quiet time both for me and for my kids. I love that they get some time to relax and recharge, which helps them in so many ways after its over. It helps them play better together when they’ve had some time to themselves, and it wards off an afternoon slump when they can take some time to feel refreshed.
I also love that it teaches them to occupy themselves really well. We never use screens for quiet time (unless reading an e-book), so their minds really have an opportunity to build connections and be creative. While my kids have a lot of shortcomings, one thing I love about them is they never say they’re bored, and I attribute this largely to quiet time. They get so good at engaging their own minds and teaching themselves to be interested in a variety of activities.
Finally, it’s great for me to have some time to work, have quiet, and to be ready to re-engage with my kids afterwards.
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How We Do Quiet Time
First, a bit on how we structure quiet time in our house. While the exact hour may vary slightly, it’s generally always shortly after lunch. We read aloud or talk to grandparents, and the two youngest kids go down for naps.
Then, the older 3 kids spend 2 hours doing quiet time. They spend the first hour reading (generally the first 30 minutes for a homeschool book and the second 30 minutes on whatever they want). Then they spend some creative time – doing a craft, playing with quiet building toys like LEGOs or Magna Tiles, playing a quiet game with siblings, doing a puzzle, etc. OwlCrate Jr is perfect for this since it includes both a book and a few other quiet activities to use during this time! My 3 year old loves doing a craft while listening to audiobooks on the Yoto player – it’s a lifesaver.
Here are all our favorite board games for kids and adults!
Read on for 5 quiet time tips with kids. It’s especially great to help encourage a love of reading!
This post on quiet time for kids contains affiliate links, but all opinions are 100% my own. That means I earn a small commission if you purchase through my link, but doesn’t change your price.
Tips for Quiet Time for Kids with OwlCrate Jr
Quiet Time Tip #1: Work up to afternoon quiet time and be consistent.
The most common comment I hear about quiet time for kids is, “my kids could never do it for that long!” But guess what – they don’t have to for it to be worthwhile! You can start out as small as you need, and kids adapt and get better at the things they practice. Even a little bit of time is so good for them (and you). And if it doesn’t work the first day, keep trying!
We start out short – around 30 minutes. Then it’s easy to extend a bit as they get more accustomed to it. I often find that as they get better at it, they often end up getting absorbed in reading or play and will go even longer than the allotted time.
On that note, be consistent in doing it. It’s always tricky after not doing quiet time on vacation, and then suddenly needing to do it again. For me, it’s so much easier to do every day, even when away from home. It doesn’t always have to be at the exact same time (or even for the same length), but I find that pause in the day is really helpful.
Quiet Time Tip #2: Make quiet time for kids a privilege.
We never make quiet time a punishment – it’s a privilege! We make sure our kids know it’s a special opportunity to relax and do a fun, quiet activity.
When we first started doing quiet time, my oldest was transitioning out of naps. So his options were either a nap or quiet time, and he almost always chose the latter (unsurprisingly). He knew he’d lose the privilege of quietly reading and occupying himself if he was loud and rambunctious. So he was pretty motivated to continue with quiet time.
It’s been the same with my other kids. They’ve all gotten used to doing those quiet activities and entertaining themselves. And they end up really enjoying and relying on that time to recharge, too. The best part is that they then start to associate their feelings of quiet time as a privilege with books as a privilege. It creates an even deeper love for reading and connecting with literature, and Owl Crate Jr is perfect for providing some of those special experiences.
Quiet Time Tip #3: Highlight a few quiet time activities for kids.
I’m a firm believer that you don’t need a ton of stuff for kids to stay occupied. In fact, I often find that my kids entertain themselves BETTER with fewer options.
Because of that, I often like to set out one or two choices for books or quiet time activities. When they have a specific idea or things to do during quiet time to focus on, they are better able to get in the mind frame of starting on it. And once they start doing them, their minds get absorbed in the activity. For instance, today, I set out a beautiful puzzle that my daughter was gifted a while back. She’d forgotten about it, but eagerly chose it today after I set it out.
Along that line, it’s nice to rotate choices. You don’t need to have a huge stockpile of activities, but it can be nice to rotate library books, set out some new craft projects (like these beloved activity books or modeling clay). It’s also great to have a few special activities that are unique to quiet time. It makes that time so special and exciting! I mentioned the Yoto player above, and that’s something that my 4 year old only really pulls out during quiet time, so it always feels special and fun.
Be sure to check out this post for 100+ consumable gifts for kids. There are tons of arts & craft ideas that make perfect quiet time activities!
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Quiet Time Tip #4: Be flexible with your ideas for quiet time.
Quiet time doesn’t naturally seem to lend itself to flexibility, but there really are so many options! I don’t care if my kids do quiet time in the playroom or in their bedrooms or outside in our favorite hanging tent (also here on Amazon) or on the trampoline. It doesn’t matter to me if they do crafts or play LEGOs or lay on the ground or listen to an audiobook. I don’t care if they read books that are their “level.” They can do a science project or spend time playing with siblings. There are so many options and ideas for quiet time!
When I let my kids take charge of their time to rest and renew themselves, they enjoy and benefit from the time so much more!
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Quiet Time Tip #5: Do something fun at the end.
I’m definitely not perfect at this, but I try to build in something fun at the end of quiet time. In an ideal world, I would shut down my work at the end of quiet time, too. Then we’d spend family time reading, playing, going on a walk, or doing anything to connect with each other.
Because as wonderful as that quiet, alone time is, I also want to give my kids connection and comfort and have fun together. When we can all look forward to that, it helps the quiet part of the afternoon feel even sweeter.
Do you do quiet time for kids (and adults) in your family? How does it work for you? What are your favorite tips?
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