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Tags: quiet time

Shhh, it's Quiet Time!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Health, Kids Activities , Tags: calm, down time, nap, peace, quiet time

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As parents of carers of any age children, we can get rather obsessed with entertaining and stimulating the little ones but quiet time is also an important activity to undertake and build into your routine.  It gives you and the children a chance to be peaceful, quiet, thoughtful and relaxed.

Quiet time activities:

  • rest, sleep in a dim room
  • quiet colouring or drawing
  • quiet puzzle
  • quiet/classical music and relaxing in a comfy chair
  • reading a nice book
  • looking through a book alone
  • writing practice
  • a choice of activities from a craft box/book shelf
  • yoga
  • lying down with eyes shut and quiet music playing

Why bother with quiet time?

  • it gives the carer a few minutes of peace and quiet
  • it focuses the child
  • it relaxes and regenerates the child's energy
  • reduces stress or any tension they may have built up
  • gives the child independence if allowed to choose own activity
  • builds a well balanced child who has the ability to entertain themselves
  • helps with sleep

Tips for a successful Quiet Time

  • Don't expect too much too soon.  Start with a quiet 10 minutes rather than a whole hour.
  • Use the same place each time so they come to expect it and know it's always the same familiar spot.
  • Do it at the same time each day, after lunch, before school run etc. so it becomes part of the routine.
  • Make sure they have all they need so won't be calling you. Go to the toilet first, have a sip of drink and provide all the toys/books etc. they will need so they don't come wandering to find you.
  • Keep it positive - don't make any suggestion it's a punishment or anything but a treat!  If it doesn't work immediately, don't nag, just quietly explain and keep it happy.
  • Explain you'll not be there, but that you'll be next door or down stairs so they are not alarmed if you go.

Make Reading Fun!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Learning Play, Kids Activities , Tags: books, pictures, quiet time, reading, words

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We all know how important reading is for children and that reading to even the tiniest toddler will help them in so many ways, but it can be frustrating if  you find that your child loses interest after a little while or simply won't settle when you are ready to read a book.

The first thing to remember, is that this is not unusual.  Every child is different and while some love the idea of a book, the pictures, the page turning the flaps etc, others are not interested.   They don't want to lift flaps or look at the pictures.  They consider reading a book as something passive, they sit back and listen and perhaps fall asleep rather than get involved.  Or, they will just lose interest and walk away.  The answer is not to force them to sit, be still and listen.  It is our job to inspire them.

  • Find something they are interested in.  Have a chat with your child and find out what they like.  They may not like train books, but love books about animals.  Then, focus on their interest and keep feeding them more of the same.
  • Find books that reflect what they have done or recall a recent event.  If they have just been a bridesmaid or been to a castle, find books that relate to this experience.  Start by not even opening the book, but look at the front cover and talk about it.  Then, talk about their own experience.
  • Don't assume that children only want stories(ie. fiction). Some are not interested in wizards or fairies but will be more excited by facts.  A book about the body, nature, how cars are made etc may inspire them.
  • Don't be too demanding. Don't expect to read pages of words and finish the book each time.  You may not even complete each book you start.  Read a few pages then if you feel it's time to stop, then do!
  • You don't even need to read a single word!  Just look at the pictures, talk about the colours and the illustrations.  Compare the pictures to real life or imagine how you would draw the pictures.
  • Read at different times. While routine can be great for some children and a book before bed can be an ideal time to set aside.  Don't think that's the only time you can read with your child.  Read before breakfast, or after lunch or take a book out and about to the coffee shop, in a car journey or to the doctor's and read together.
  • Make it fun! In winter snuggle under a blanket and have a warm drink together.  In summer take a book to the park and sit on a rug under a tree.
  • Don't forget the voices... children adore the funny voices that parents and carers put on when reading a book.  Try to make the book as animated and as compelling as possible.
  • Ask your child to choose the book. Try not to dictate which book you read, give them the choice and don't feel aggrieved if they choose the same one they had yesterday.  Children love repetition and familiarity so just read it again or focus on something different this time when you read the book.
  • Book activities: A book is more than words: one day how about focusing on the pictures only: count how many sheep in the field or clouds in the sky. Ask your child to find the carrot in the picture or ask what colour the door is.  Make the pictures come alive by asking interesting questions that they can answer and feel involved and inspired by what they find in the book.

Happy reading!

Introducing a 'Quiet Time'

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Toddlers, Babies, Health , Tags: nap, play, puzzles, quiet time

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Children typically need 12 - 14 hours sleep in every 24 hours and if your toddlers are getting their quota overnight, they may not need a daytime nap.  Young children who aren't napping should be encouraged to take a 'quiet time' during the day as this rests them a little and let's them get through the day more easily.  To introduce a 'quiet time', put your little one in their bedroom and let them play with puzzles or toys on their own for a while - 30 minutes is long enough for most children.  If they require a nap then you may find that they fall asleep during this period on their own.

A 'quiet time' helps with the transition from taking daytime naps to doing away with them altogether.  Some children will continue napping even once that have started school, but most children will give up naps anywhere between 2 and 4 years old.  Sometimes children give up naps because they simply don't appear to need them, other times you will stop your children napping because it doesn't fit into your daily routine.  If you have older children and have to do a school run, or if you have other daytime commitments, then it's quite possible that this will interfere with nap time.

A Little Bit of Down Time!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Health, Child Development , Tags: quiet time, read, relax

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Children need time to interact with adults and to play with other children, but they also need time on their own during the day. Whilst they crave the love and attention of their parents and indeed grandparents and feel loved and special when they share games and activities together, it is also important to give them some space and let them develop their own sense of self through solitary play. This can be in the form of some daily "down time" where they might retreat to their bedroom at a certain point every day. You can build time into your daily routine, perhaps after lunch. Select some books together for your child to look through and encourage them to sit on their beds to read them. Or perhaps encourage some peaceful play time with a few jigsaw puzzles and some gentle music. Or, just explain they will have some time to play on their own in the room, doing anything they like at all. Either way, make sure you are not at the centre of the activities, make sure your child is free and alone, even if it is just for a short time. It's important to allow your children to develop skills to amuse themselves, and, its great to have a bit of down time your self!


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