Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Quiet time activities

Jeb has officially outgrown naps, and Vivi really needs to stop napping so that she goes to bed at night. Journey can sometimes go without, but usually needs a nap. And I like my hour+ of quiet time to myself every day! The problem we were having though is that Vivi, when left alone in her room with her books, kept falling asleep, then being up and crazy all night, and Jeb's imagination leads him to playing and getting loud, sometimes waking Journey up in our room.

So off I went to pinterest to browse for activity ideas to keep them quiet but busy during 'quiet rest time', with the idea that I can keep these activities separate from their day time toys and use on a rotation, each kid getting a couple of activities every day so that they stay fresh.

Unfortunately I can't find where I first saw the idea for the felt activity, but I made 2 sets of fun mini felt boards. The blue rectangle is a half sheet of felt, so it's pretty small. I keep it, and the shapes to go with it, in a quart sized ziploc bag. I made a sheet of grass and some other basic shapes, with the house in mind, but later when Jeb and I were playing with it we used these shapes to make a truck, as well as some abstract art. Jeb LOVES this 'toy', and the past few days he has practically begged to go into his room for quiet rest time. Since taking this picture I cut a few more shapes, and brought them to church on Sunday for the girls (who are on a Sunday School boycott) to keep them quiet and busy so we can listen to the sermon. We sat next to a mom and daughter who was having a hard time sitting quietly, so I pulled out one of the felt boards and passed it to her. Vivi and I would make a picture, and A and her mom would make a picture, then we would show each other. We got creative and I got some more fun ideas from the other mom, and picked up some more felt to add to it. I'm also excited to change the shapes up seasonally-orange pumpkins in October, white circles for snowmen in winter...

This activity is based off of an idea from the blog http://no1hasmorefun.blogspot.com/. The idea was to use a colander, but we were at Ikea and saw this neat little utensil holder for $3. I like it more than a colander because the shape seems better for little hands, and it is easy to stretch the pipe cleaners from one side to the other. This is one of Vivi's favorites. I also have a baggie of just pipe cleaners and let them each have one in the car on a long drive. We have used them to make shapes, silly faces, letters, and jewelry. Not bad for 87 cents for 25 of them at Hobby Lobby!

I have a few more ideas and I'm slowly building up a collection of fun, budget friendly quiet time toys, hopefully I'll be posting more soon!
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