Why quiet time works, and how do you set it up?

Why quiet time works, and how do you set it up?

Jan 27 , 2022

Alex deMoca

First of all, nap time it’s not just for toddlers; all family members need it. The way we all can benefit from it depends on everyone's goal.

What is quiet time?

It’s that period of the day your toddler spends doing quiet activities INDEPENDENTLY. It can be reading books, working on a project, or playing with quiet toys(felt books, busy boards, sensory bins).

What are the benefits?

Memories are consolidated and strengthened during naps or rest periods, so quiet time remains vital from birth to adult life. Having a quiet time each day is essential for our children and us as well. It’s that time we should slow down press reset to enjoy the rest of the day.

Sparks creativity. As it is known, boredom develops creativity. When children are in charge of their own time, they can develop creativity in ways we can’t even imagine. It’s incredible what kids can create or do during unstructured time. 

In one study, children from two groups were asked to do structured exercises while others were asked to play with salt dough for 25 minutes. After that, all children were asked to do a collage using tissue-paper materials. The children who played with salt-dough(unstructured play) showed more creativity and used more colors than those who did structured activities.

Quiet time it’s a great way to increase your toddler’s autonomy, it’s a space and time where they can make decisions can create or plan an activity, all being part of critical thinking and self-directed executive functions we all need in life.

Quiet time helps with focus, reflection, absorbing what they have learned, and being comfortable being alone and relaxing.

When to introduce quiet time and sensory play?

Most parents realize the importance of quiet time when children give up nap time. By the age of 4, 50% of children stop napping, and the numbers go up from 5 years old children. You should have a routine and system that your children can follow each day at the same time. Explain to them that this is THEIR time where they can choose to rest or play quietly. It would help if you were firm and clear. Let your kids know when it’s quiet time, what it’s expected from them, and how important it is to you.

When sensory meltdowns are far more often than usual, it’s a sign that your kid needs more quiet time. This happens when kids don’t have enough time to recharge, relax and get away from sensory overload activities.

When toddlers need more time to themselves, they can figure out what they like or enjoy doing, engage with no distractions and put all the effort into it.

To focus and reflect on what your toddler is doing, being more able to sit for long periods while engaging quietly in their work.

To absorb what they’ve learned during the day, they get to internalize the information in an area with little to no distractions.

To calm and reflect on their thoughts and feelings, and be more productive once the quiet time has ended. This is shown to help children control their emotions and calm their anxiety better.

How to put together quiet time?

Prepare in advance so your child doesn’t have to wait and lose interest. Be creative and think of activities that can be portable. Sometimes quiet play is needed when going to restaurants, car rides, or church. Such as the busy board or quiet books. Great for toddlers to use the quiet time wisely.