As babies grow into toddlers, they become infinitely more clever and aware of the world around them, which makes getting them to take those much-needed afternoon naps almost impossible. As toddlers are naturally inquisitive and active, it can be challenging to get them to transition from sleeping during the afternoons to spending those hours doing quiet time activities. While plopping them in front of the tv with a nice snack is certainly an option, there are also tons of awesome activities that help foster independence and succeed in teaching them great problem solving skills. From interactive puzzles to quiet books, these unique quiet time activities will make your little one’s transition a blast!
1. Mix & Match Creature Blocks
Draw up some awesome animated robot and monster parts on various colorful pool noodles. The mixing and matching will allow your child to express themselves in a super fun way. To make things even more interesting, create the blocks using characters from their favorite tv shows, movies, or books!
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2. I Spy Bag
This genius I Spy bag puts any old picture book to shame! Simply gathering a few fun, miscellaneous items and placing them in a pencil case alongside a healthy dose of Poly-Fil Poly-Pellets, you can create a 3-D game that is incredibly fun and interactive. Tip: Clipping a clear, printed photo of the items in the bag also allows your child to easily identify and cross items off of the list.
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3. Toddler Shapes Activity Book
This helpful printable booklet acts as a quiet time activity and as a fantastic learning tool for toddlers at the same time! The extremely helpful guide on the last page is great for teaching toddlers the names of common shapes and the rest of the book, outfitted with corresponding colorful cutouts, is an awesome way for them to match and learn on their own. Laminating the printables is a must to prevent tearing and stains, also, carefully placing them in a binder or folder is a great way to prevent loss and ensure accessibility.
Pastels & Macarons is a great place to find crafting inspiration and helpful home tips.
4. Calming Lavander Play Dough
This magical blob is no ordinary play dough, on no! It’s a healthy homemade creation that has gotten many a parent and toddler through quiet time calm and unscathed. While the actual play dough recipes uses a mixture of white flour and jello powder to make it completely safe for kids, the addition of lavender essential oil and dried lavender buds work to keep kids calm and relaxed while they play with it. This play dough is so great at relieving stress, you might be tempted togive it a go yourself.
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5. Counting Quiet Book
Fun, cute, interactive, and informative, all things that make toddler learning tools so successful and unique; and this quiet counting book is no different. Homemade quiet books come in all shapes and sizes, but this one, featuring a different theme for each number, is one of a kind. Flowers that pop out at you, soft little trinkets, adorable animals, this quiet book definitely takes some time to put together, but it’s more than worth it.
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6. Felt Button Chain
Fantastic for helping toddlers improve their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, these felt button chain links are an awesome quiet time activity as well as a great developmental tool. Getting the buttons onto the felt does require a little bit of sewing but the overall effort involved is pretty minimal, especially compared to the super quiet rewards!
A Crafty Living is a fantastic source of arts and crafts inspiration for kids and adults of all ages.
7. Rubber Band Fine Motor Skills Activity
It almost doesn’t get any more simple than this activity. A can of soup and a handful of colorful rubber bands can turn into a great quiet time activity that keeps the kiddos entertained and helps you learn something new about them. The particularity in which they place their rubber bands on their cans, how fast they complete the task, these things can teach you a lot about your child and aide you in finding more fitting activities for them in the future.
Find awesome learning tools and tips on hands on parenting at Hand On As We Grow.
8. Rainbow Ice Tower Excavation
This rainbow ice tower excavation activity is perfect for those hot summer days, actually creating the tower definitely takes a good amount of time and effort to gather and prepare the materials but watching the kids go at it with ice melting tools and sheer determination makes it all worth it.
Chek out Fun At Home With Kids for helpful advice and ideas on fun kid-friendly activities.
9. Sponge Blocks
While it is entirely true that you could simply go out and buy blocks for your kiddos to use during quiet time, it’s probably much cheaper and way more fun to make them yourself (not to mention quieter)! Made from brand new colorful household sponges, these blocks allow kids to express themselves in an awesome way during their daily downtime.
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10. Bear Math Patterns
Pair these fun printables with little matching toy bears to help your child engage in color matching activities and introductory math concepts. Keep your kiddo busy with these adorable little bears while also helping them learn about the concept of patterns.
Head over to Fun-A-Day to find imaginative ways to keep learning fun in your household.
11. Chalkboard Table
While it doesn’t necessarily have to be an entire coffee table (it can also be a serving tray or even an entire wall), a little bit of chalkboard paint goes a long way when it comes to quiet time activities. Allowing your child the option to draw freely or even giving them an objective allows them to flex that creative bone.
Burlap & Blue is a fantastic lifestyle and craft blog that is full of tons of inspiration.
12. Sticky Cutting Tray
Aside from being incredibly adorable and creative, this sticky tray activity is great for teaching kiddos how to properly handle scissors and experiment with different materials. Using adhesive papers, googly eyes, and other fun tools, simply allow your child to create and imagine whatever they want on the cutting tray. It may also be a good idea to document (take photos) of what they create for some adorable nostalgic moments at a later date.
Check out Picklebums for tons of awesome printables and advice on having a great time with your kiddos.
13. Fishing Quiet Games
This activity is also a great source of fun on long car rides, but it is especially helpful for little ones during quiet times. These little fish are cut out using color felt and each encase a magnet, allowing them to easily be lifted by the washer bottomed “fishing rods.” Try giving your kids an objective with their fish to make things even more fun.
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14. Tugging Box
Perfect for younger toddlers, this DIY tugging box succeeds in being a fun, colorful toy that keeps kids entertained, which makes it the perfect quiet time tool. Using an old cardboard box and ribbons of varying sizes, colors, and patterns, you can create a toy that acts as a sensory tool and a source of exploration.
Learn how to make learning fun for your kids at Laughing Kids Learn.
15. Cube Puzzles
These fun printables, paired with colorful blocks, can be used simply as a fun quiet time activity, or as a great learning tool to teach toddlers shapes, colors, math, or all of the above.
Find great educational tools and tips at True Aim Education.