Recently I sat down with Katie Pitts from Sleep Wise Consulting to discuss Quiet Time. When toddlers drop their nap, she recommends switching to a daily Quiet Time. Naturally, lots of questions came up about how to enforce an hour per day of independent, quiet playtime. My type-A personality loves the structure and predictability the concept provides, but I’m also a Gentle Parent, and I worry about how to implement things like this positively.
Katie had some great answers, including the idea of Quiet Bins. Quiet Bins only come out at Quiet Time, and they’re rotated out to keep the activities new and exciting. The goal is to select toys that are so engaging, they keep the child busy and negate the issue of any struggling or forcing. As we talked, I realized that this reminded me a lot of the Montessori shelf.
Every morning, I take a long, hot shower, while Little K runs excitedly to her Montessori shelf. I put a lot of thought into which materials I leave out. They need to be developmentally appropriate and she needs to know how to work with them independently. They should have just the right amount of challenge and need to be rotated out to maintain their novelty. It’s very close to the same concept of Quiet Bins.
I wanted to share what I have in my Quiet Bins! Little K is nearly 3 years old. During Quiet Time she also has access to her bedroom library, which includes a shelf each of Italian Books, Bedtime Stories, and Nonfiction Books.
Bob Books (1-2 per box)
Phonetic Blocks (1 per box)
Tracing Board (lower case letters)
Lock Box Doll House
Letter Construction Set
Lock Box Board
Shape puzzle book