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Have your kids outgrown naps? Most of mine have too! But, I still need time each day to focus on my business, so we started Quiet Time.
After lunch each day, we take care of table chores. Then we do something to get our wiggles out. Once we’re ready, we sit on the couch together and I read a chapter of a read aloud.
Then it’s time for a bathroom break and ninety minutes of quiet time.
My younger kids (the baby and the two year old) take a nap. Well, at least theoretically!
The other kids are able to play quietly during this time. Everyone plays individually, because when there are this many people in a home, it’s important for everyone to have some alone time.
Wondering what my kids do for ninety minutes? Here are some of their favorite activities:
My kids each have a day of the week to do art. When it’s their turn, they get access to the dining room table, and all the craft supplies (except the four year old. He just gets a couple of age appropriate things!)
- Paint something
- Turn a box into a delivery car
- Create a set to play with
- Make a costume
- Design a card
- Try origami
- Use a drawing book
And numerous other tasks. They love getting creative!
A couple of my kids enjoying grabbing some paper and a pencil and listening to an audio book. While they listen, they draw scenes from the book, characters, or whatever they’re inspired to draw.
Free play with pattern blocks? Building a huge tower out of unifix cubes? Examining the backyard through a magnifying glass? How fun!
My kids LOVE using their school manipulatives in non-school ways. Little do they realize they’re still learning, ha ha ha ha! 😀
Solo Play Games
We’ve created solo rules for many of our games, and the kids are always inventing new ones. It’s fun to play with pieces in a new way. Here are some of our favorites (aff. links):
For solo play, Racoon Rumpus works well. The player gets to dress all four racoons up in whatever outfits they want. They’ve had tea parties, gone shopping, and enjoyed numerous other adventures.
Snorta comes with plastic animals and small barns. Can you see the solo play fun with those pieces? I’ve also had the kids put all the animals in a bag and close their eyes. Then they reach in and try to identify the piece they grabbed just based on feel.
There are tons of Disney pictures in Pictopia: Disney Edition. My kids enjoy finding all the cards with a favorite character or movie, sorting the cards into piles based on type of question, and trying to answer as many as they can.
Mouse Trap involves some great fine motor skills practice. Let your child set up the trap completely and see if it works.
A once a week treat for each child, computer time means playing games, working on a coding project, or creating a story.
My kids enjoy setting up the train tracks. They drive the train or toy cars all over it. I’ve also seen them use blocks to create houses and other things near the tracks, creating their own little world.
Speaking of creating worlds, this is another favorite. My kids enjoy bringing out the character toys and having a giant world where they all work together. The Paw Patrol and Rescue Bots work together to save the My Little Ponies from danger. Or whatever other situation they invent.
A favorite of many kids, my eight year old especially loves working on puzzles. We have a small piece of counter top he uses to store the puzzle on, while it’s in progress. He can keep this upstairs, out of Owen’s mouth and the little guys’ hands.
What Do I Do During Quiet Time?
Quiet time plays an important role in my business. It’s when I:
- Send pitches
- Work on client work
- Brainstorm post ideas
- Respond to emails
And more. It’s my big focus period in the middle of the day, and I really enjoy it.
What Happens When Quiet Time Doesn’t Work Right?
Even though quiet time is a part of our routine, it doesn’t always go right. Some days:
- The baby won’t fall asleep
- My toddler wakes up early
- Owen needs some extra care. Or needs to go to the urgent care for stitches or something.
- The cows or pigs get out
- A hawk attacks the chickens
Or something else comes up, needing my attention, meaning I can’t work like I typically do.
I’ve learned I have choices when this happens:
- Continue trying to work despite the distractions (which usually results in a really grumpy mom and bad moods for everyone the rest of the day.)
- Have the kids continue playing quietly while I take care of a crisis
- Put a movie on and nurse the baby while I work.
- Send the bigger kids on an adventure challenge with a small one (take the walkie talkies and walk to the forts in the woods. Tell me when you get there. Now find seven rocks, a yellow flower, and see how many animals you can see. ) Or something like that.
- Close down the computer, call it quits early, and work in the evening instead.
- Turn Quiet Time into another Family Writing Time of sorts.
- Let the kids play together quietly instead of alone.
- Make a snack, because food sometimes makes everything better!
Some of these choices are better than others, but I have made them all. I don’t recommend the first one!
Do You Utilize Quiet Time?
Tell me in the comments if your kids also have a daily quiet time. If you aren’t, you might give it a try. It’s a wonderful way to grow your business while working at home with kids. Even if it doesn’t always go as anticipated.