Monday, June 24, 2013

Quiet Time Boxes - Monday


Confession: I am one of those mums who needs a bit of 'free time' each day. And by 'free time' I mean time to clean up after the kids activities, do a load of washing, and maybe sneak in a cuppa if I'm lucky. Therefore, when Eden stopped napping a year ago, I mourned. I love my children like mad (don't we all?!) but I know that my patience level is higher and my attitude is much more positive when I get that little break in the day. 
To try and preserve my daily break, I gave Eden Quiet Time instead, in which she would still have a drink of milk, I'd read her some books, and then she would remain in her room and play quietly with toys that Ava couldn't play with, such as Lego or my old-school Polly Pockets (both have teensy weensy parts that Ava thought looked tasty). 

This was effective for quite a long time, but then she began to get bored. Even rotating the toys only worked for a little while. Then she would come out of her room every FIVE MINUTES asking if Quiet Time was finished yet, and what was I doing, and could she play on the giant walk-on keyboard, and why not, and could she watch a movie, and she didn't want to watch a movie, and why wasn't I going to let her go to Pancake Parlour, and what does 'incessant' mean, and that's not what incessant means, and did I mention that I need a break in the day?!?!?
Mercifully, Ava still naps most days and Zac is a champion sleeper, so I just needed to find something new to occupy Eden. Quiet Time Boxes!

Growing up, one of my fave parts about visiting my aunty was that she kept a Busy Box for me, filled with cardstock, ribbons, stamps, stickers, textas, envelopes... all sorts of exciting things, and we would sit together and craft and chat, and I just loved it! I wanted to recreate that excitement for Eden, but my aims were a little different than my aunt's. 

My guidelines were as follows:

1) She must be able to do it independently and without supervision. No scissors!

2) I must be able to retain my sanity and newly rediscovered sense of peace when I go into her room afterwards. Therefore, no playdough (ground into the carpet), no stamps (paper is boring, let's try the walls!), and no glue (we have lost some good soft toys that way. True story).

3) Use items that we already have as much as possible.

I also wanted to have one box for each of the days of the week, sans weekends as we are generally out and about the whole time. I was aiming to have a general theme for the items as well as a puzzle and a book in each box.
This is not a new concept, hundreds of mums do variations of these; just google 'activity bags', 'quiet time books' etc, and you'll find HEAPS of ideas. However, many of these only have three or four things in their child's boxes so as not to overwhelm them, but I know Eden would be bored in 2.5 seconds flat, so I have really tried to fill my boxes. I have also seen preparation-heavy-ish actvities like 'decorate the felt cupcake with felt sprinkles'. Now, this looks cute, sounds like a good idea, but how many kids will be occupied with this for more than a minute? Not mine!

You are the best judge of your childs needs, so just adapt your boxes to what best suits your family.

The plan is to freshen up the contents of the boxes monthly - not to completely overhaul them monthly, mind you, just to swap some things out and add some new bits and bobs. I'll be posting my boxes and their contents this week, and I'll also share with you a tub I put together for Ava. 

So, onto Monday's box...


Theme: Girlie Girl


  • Tinkerbell book with Audio CD (plus my old discman to listen to it on)
  • Barbie jigsaw puzzle
  • Long gloves
  • Dress-up skirt
  • Dress-up high-heeled shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Handbag
  • Coin purse
  • Assorted jewellery
  • Stand Mirror
  • Play hairdryer
  • Comb and brush
  • Hair rollers
  • An assortment of hairclips, hairties, barrettes, etc.
  • A pretty candle box
  • Snow White washing mitten
  • A powder puff
  • A faceted viewing-tube-thing that is like looking through a crystal
We already had everything in this box save for the puzzle. So it cost about 70 cents (got a pack of three Barbie puzzles for $2).

Quiet Time: Lasted TWO hours!! Gotta be happy with that. When I checked on her she just said "You can go now, Mum". I'm so good with that!


I hope you feel inspired, let me know if you try these out yourself and what you put in yours. Don't forget to have a look at the other boxes here:

Tuesday's Box
Wednesday's Box
Thursday's Box
Friday's Box
Toddler Busy Tub

Happy playing, and thanks for reading! ~ L.

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