Quiet time activities: 5 calming activities for when children drop naptime

Crafting expert and award-winning parent blogger Jen Walshaw from Mum in the Madhouse joins us with ideas for activities to help tired kids stay calm

The thought of kids stopping napping is one that fills most, if not all parents with dread. Losing the only time when you can actually have a hot drink without warming it in the microwave 5 times or resorting to locking yourself in the toilet is a lot to fear.

However, you can make the transition easier for both you and your child by introducing calming quiet time activities in the time that naps used to fill.

It is key to have a set routine initially for quiet time activities. Try and keep the time and place consistent to make transitioning easier.

It is also important to try and keep it screen free. Yes, tablets and TV can keep your child still, but they also provide far too much stimulus to calm. Why not try listening to an age appropriate audio book or calming music in the background?

Scented play dough – Most children love sensory play, and by adding calming lavender to your playdough ingredients you can turn in from a stimulating activity to a calming one. To extend the time playing you can also introduce a calming sensory bin to their play.

 Try and encourage your child to play independently or quietly with a sibling rather than you taking the lead.

Quiet Time Book – A sensory book is perfect for quiet time. It is engaging, tactile and can be tailored to your child’s interests. Plus as it is compact it's great for quiet time on the go. They are brilliant for focusing on skills such as sorting, matching, fine motor skills and concentration.

Threading - Calming activities often require concentration and this cardboard bead threading activity is fun and great for fine motor skills. It's inexpensive too. You can use lots of different things to thread with once children become accustomed to this. Pipecleaners and Cheerios or shoe laces and buttons all work well.

Construction – Building blocks are a great calming activity and making some out of sponge ensures that they are perfect for quiet time. They would also be a great addition to a water table for summer quiet time.

Button ups – These are such a flexible DIY toy, perfect for quiet time. You can use them in so many different ways, such as making chains, letters, patterns and shapes. As well as craft foam, you could make them from felt instead. Being small and lightweight they are great for on the go too.


What kind of quiet time activities do your children enjoy? Come and tell us over on the Official Supernanny Facebook page


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Jen Walshaw is an award-winning parent blogger who is passionate about crafting, cooking and living a creative family life in the digital age.  She can often be found in the kitchen teaching her boys (aged 10 and 11) to cook, or making homemade gifts for family and friends. When not up to her eyes in flour or paint, Jen can be found writing about family life at Mum in the Madhouse

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