Even with all the amazing summertime activities you may have planned, chances are your kids will still need a little downtime in the months ahead. So, this week in our Summer Fun Calendar, guest blogger and mom of quadruplets, Rebecca (A Beautiful Ruckus) shares creative ways to help kids unwind with Quiet Time Toy Bins. Read her tips for creating these bins below.
One of the upsides of having quadruplets is that there are always playmates available. I don’t have any lonely kids, because from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed, they are hanging out with their best friends.
One of the downsides of having quadruplets is that there are always playmates available. Every single minute of every single day is spent in close proximity to three other toddler siblings.
Several months ago, we dropped our morning nap, but I learned very quickly that my kids still needed a break from each other (and let’s face it: Mommy needed a break too!)
That’s when we started using Quiet Time Toy Bins. The kids take about 45 minutes to an hour each morning and play quietly with the items that I’ve assembled in their bins. With four kids, we just rotate the bins every day so that they don’t get bored. It’s such a simple idea, but it is such a sanity saver for all of us!
Here is how we make the most of our Quiet Time Toy Bins:
1) Identify what your child loves to play with most during the day. For example, my husband Sean and I are avid readers, and hope that our kids will be as well. We are constantly encouraging them to “go get a book” and then have them identify objects in the pictures for us. I think it’s working, because all four of them really enjoy their books!
We also have several sets of each of the puzzles our kids use. During the day and after dinner, we will bring out a couple of puzzles and help the kids put them together while practicing shapes, colors, items, and sounds, along with matching, concentrating, and motor skills.
2) Create your Toy Bins using those familiar items. Each of our kids gets a bin with books and a few small toys that are reserved for that special downtime. They also get their own puzzle to work by themselves. With all of our emphasis on books and puzzles during the day, they really enjoy getting to have their own bin with items they can engage with at their own pace.
I’ve found that structuring their day like this helps them learn with us as parents, but also gives them a chance to individually read books and assemble puzzles without the other kids interrupting. Honestly, I think parents are so caught up in the idea that they need to constantly entertain their kids, that they forget so much can be gained from simply allowing them to explore and entertain themselves! We are prepping now for a lifetime of learning…and trying to make it fun the process!
How do you help your kids unwind with quiet time? Share with us in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook.
Rebecca Ishum lives with her husband, Sean, and their two-year-old quadruplets in Kansas City. She writes a parenting/lifestyle blog about raising her unique family at abeautifulruckus.com and is a freelance writer for local parenting magazines. She loves documenting as many little moments as possible about her kids, motherhood, and marriage: the good, the bad, and the silly!
This post was created for our Summer Fun Calendar series. Click for more info.
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