Inside: Quiet time activities are not only important for your sanity, but they are also very beneficial for toddlers and preschoolers. I’ve put together a collection that is perfect for those much needed calm moments.
There are moments in every day that we need some quiet time. Especially if there are young children in the house. This is one of the reasons we love nap time so much!
But what about when they give up their naps? Oh, I remember those days well. I didn’t know how I was going to handle a full day without any down time.
Fortunately, you can still have that moment of calm by giving your children quiet time activities.
The key is doing a bit of prep work by having these activities ready ahead of time, so there is no waiting involved.
And if you are looking for more details on how to create quiet moments in your household, scroll down to find my friend Sarah’s Quiet Time Mastery Series. You will learn how to get those quiet times so you can get other stuff done, as well as how to create quality time with your children. It’s good stuff!
How to Put Together Quiet Time Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
It’s really easier than you might think. Some can be put together in advance and stored in a special cabinet. Just rotate what you give to your child each time so that the interest is still there.
Some of these activities can also be portable, meaning you can take them with you. We all know how toddlers hate to wait for anything. Just keep a few quiet time activities in a bag that you can take out when waiting just simply isn’t an option.
35+ Quiet Time Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Press pieces of colorful tissue onto sticky Contact paper that can then be displayed in the window.
Make a yellow collage on a sun (free printable.)
Create a simple rainbow suncatcher using a paper plate (mess free).
Use thesefree counting playdough mats for a quiet table activity.
Add citrus squeezers with play dough for some extra fine motor development.
Have some lavender play dough on hand for an easy, calming activity.
Build with Duplo bricks and straws on playdough.
Place objects on the matching colored pages – free printable in Spanish and English.
Use tongs to transfer pom poms to the matching colored cups. (Busy Toddler)
Make your own cardboard loom and invite your children to weave the rainbow. (Days with Grey)
Sort cereal by color and make a rainbow necklace. (Lil Scholar University)
Place colored pom poms on printed shapes (free printable).
Match the shapes using clothespins (free printable).
Press triangles into playdough and add matchsticks.
Cut shapes from felt and clip clothespins to them. (Itty Bitty Sunshine)
Use an ice cube tray to sort shapes at the table. (Mess for Less)
Match the letters on stickers with those written on a paper tube. (Busy Toddler)
Drop letters down paper tubes into matching colored bowls. (Happy Toddler Playtime)
Glue buttons onto hand-written letters. (No Time for Flashcards)
Threading straw pieces is very calming and keeps the fingers busy.
Transfer water into ice cube trays.
Drop watercolors onto paper towels.
Cut paper tubes for some fun and quiet threading. (The Imagination Tree)
Save an empty bottle and collect ribbon scraps. Invite your child to quietly work on strengthening fine motor skills by pushing the ribbon in the bottle. (Hands On As We Grow)
Place buttons on lines and curves. (Learning 4 Kids)
Build fine motor skills while working with sandpaper and yarn. (Modern Parents, Messy Kids)
Download the free printable an invite your child to add the correct number of pom poms to each number.
Work on number recognition and counting skills while adding a certain number of scoops to each ice cream cone. (Fun-a-Day)
Clip a certain amount of paperclips to each numbered card. (Lessons Learnt Journal)
Twist pipe cleaners into numbers and thread that many beads through them. (The OT Toolbox)
Repurpose the frame of a number puzzle and add the correct number of googly eyes. (Play, Teach, Repeat)
Purchase containers from the Dollar Store to make your own quiet time busy boxes. Easy to store and you can change the items anytime. (The Domestic Four)
Make and label busy boxes for each day of the week, so they are ready to go. The boxes being all the same size makes storage much easier. (1 Plus 1)
Use felt and a glue gun to make an 11-page quiet time book. These are perfect for home or when out and about. (Powerful Mothering)
When you need quiet time while traveling, you can put together a portable quiet time book. (Mama Papa Bubba)
Young children love the soft feeling of felt. Use felt pieces to make faces. (Toddler Approved)
Provide a bin with lavender-scented rice for some calm sensory play. (The Imagination Tree)
Cut sponges into shapes for some quiet block play. (Inner Child Fun)
Make your own sponge blocks and build towers. (Toddler Approved)
Fill an empty container with pieces of pipe cleaner. Make your own easy magnet wand and enjoy some quiet science time. (From Playdough to Plato)
Invite your child to be a engineer while building with toothpicks and jelly beans. (Productive Pete)
PLAY: Playful Activity Plans for Your Busy Toddler
Here’s an even easier way to keep your toddler busy at home!
35 hand-chosen activities that you can do with your toddler!
More information: Play: Playful Activity Plans