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caedmyn

quiet time activities for very active boys

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I really need to re-institute afternoon quiet time.  I found it difficult to do with 2 little boys, because they both needed to be in the room with me to keep them out of trouble and it was hard to keep them from interacting.  Now there will be 3 to manage as the 4 YO isn't napping most days now and I don't know how to make it work.  I cannot send them off to separate rooms because they're not quiet enough to not wake the baby and they tend to do things like escape out the window to play outside (bedrooms are in a daylight basement so windows are at ground level).  What do you have very active little boys do for quiet time?  None can read independently.  Two will look at books for a while (maybe 15 minutes), the third generally won't look at them for more than 5 minutes--he'd rather lay down and do nothing than look at books.  They won't color or draw for any length of time.

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Knot tying, lacing activities, origami

 

All of these are things you'd have to teach them ahead of time, then they can practice alone.

 

For lacing, we'd take a picture, glue it to card stock, cut it out and then punch holes along the edges.

 

Origami...start with the simplest things (like "cootie catcher" or frog) then they can make them alone.

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Play with lego/playmobil/whatever while listening to audio book?

 

This. And things like this: http://www.kaplaus.com

 

Lauri puzzles, stacking pegs, Lincoln logs, picture books.....I had to alternate almost daily with my son at one point. But he's always been much better than my youngest daughter about quiet time. Do they play pretend? You might help them out and get them going with a story line and see if that helps hold their attention a little longer. My son is 5 now and in the last six months has become absolutely enthralled with Legos. He will disappear for hours now. It's wonderful. I think special quiet time toys help, and I'm not above bribery. "If you stay quiet for X you can have a cookie after quiet time is over." 

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Play with lego/playmobil/whatever while listening to audio book?

 

I second this.

 

It took a lot of practice to get my 8, 5, & nearly-3  into the habit of quiet time. We had to start with 10 minutes and work our way up. The almost-3yr old can now play in his room for 60-90 minutes without too much redirection from me. The 5 & 8yr olds will happily go for 1.5-2 hours. They each have either a single-player game (Rush Hour Jr, Lazer Maze, etc), a puzzle, Legos/Duplos, or coloring books/paper and crayons. The younger two will listen to audiobooks and DS8 will either listen to an audiobook or read on his own. Sometimes they will put down their activities and just rest on the bed, but not too often.

 

I firmly believe that quiet time has saved my sanity. The days that I don't get my quiet time are the days I am not my best as a parent. It makes a big difference. Good luck!

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One in the bath with an audiobook and one in the corner facing the wall with a pillow and an Audiobook​.

 

The audiobooks are on timers and no one gets up/out til they stop.

 

This is actually what I do for quiet time for my 9 and 8 year olds :). They are allowed to read, write, rest, or draw if it's not their day for a bath.

Edited by OKBud

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Matchbox cars

Wikki sticks

a marble run

anything that has been out of sight for a few weeks

 

and yes to bribery.

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Building toys, audio books, as others have suggested.  It takes time, but routines usually do.  Good luck!

Edited by readinmom
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