Even when children have outgrown nap time, they still benefit from an hour or two of less intense play. After a busy day of preschool learning, quiet time allows them to recharge so they can make it through the rest of the day’s activities without a nap.
We know it can feel as if your child will never run out of energy; but with several years of experience, we have a few tricks up our sleeves. Here are some of the ways Providence Children’s Academy fills quiet time in our preschool.
First on our list of quiet time activities is an all-time favorite – playdough. Playdough offers invaluable sensory play, which is essential for a child’s development. Experimenting and molding with playdough is a good activity for shorter quiet times because it’s quick to get started and quick to clean up! We recommend and try to avoid playing with play dough around carpets though since there is the potential to get quite messy.
Quiet time doesn’t necessarily mean no sound at all! Putting on an age-appropriate audiobook allows children to be still and quiet for a short time – giving them that extra boost of energy they’ll need for the rest of the day. Using an audiobook keeps this activity independent, so the teachers can perform admin-related tasks while the children are entertained.
Children are bound to interact with each other during quiet time. Playing soft jazz or classical music while they play and create is a great way to help control noise levels. If they can’t hear the music – they’re talking too loudly! It is important to incorporate music in infant and preschool activities, and this is one of the ways we do it.
Children have endless options when it comes to coloring. Quiet time can be a wonderful opportunity for a creative outlet – using blank paper and crayons, markers, or colorful chalk and a chalkboard. Learning about colors is a favorite quiet time activity for our children.
2. Paper City
With just a few pieces of paper, you can construct an entire paper city for your child to play in. They can help with the creative process and play in their city afterward with hot wheels, dolls, or toy animals.
To create a paper city:
- Fold several pieces of paper in half lengthways.
- Draw various buildings (shops, gas stations, schools, houses, etc) on one side of each page, with the bottom of the drawing on the open edge of the paper.
- Open the folded pages slightly so they can stand on their own.
- Tear strips of paper and make roads between all the buildings.
This paper city is easy to both pack away and reassemble and offers hours of creative play.
While puzzles may seem overly simple, they can keep preschoolers occupied for hours. Matching the pieces develops your child’s fine motor skills and strengthens their spatial orientation and visual perception.
Children can also make their own puzzles using pieces of art they’ve created (potentially during a previous quiet time!) We include art in our Pre-K curriculum to keep our students engaged and excited about school. Creating their own puzzles will always be a supervised quiet time activity, as scissors can be dangerous.
2. Making Pom-poms
It’s surprising how long preschoolers can stay entertained by tasks we might find tedious. Pom-poms are a perfect example!
To make pom-poms:
- Wrap wool around a piece of cardboard over and over again.
- Tie a short piece of wool around the middle, after removing the cardboard.
- Cut through the loops of wool.
And there you go! Your very own pom-pom. The cutting step will need supervision, but the rest is simple enough for children to do independently and will keep them occupied for ages.
Regular building blocks are often noisy to dig through, which is not ideal for quiet time. A clever substitute for these are quiet blocks – sponges cut into different sizes and shapes. This new type of building block is extremely quiet, while still remaining fascinating and versatile.
Children could combine building with quiet blocks with the paper city from earlier – creating a full 3D city.
At Providence Children’s Academy, we love to play and learn at the same time! For more information on our preschool programs, contact us today at 954-570-6914.