Monday, October 24

Encouraging Quiet

We strive to have a quiet time everyday in our home. Not only does it provide a sense of predictability for my children but it also serves the need (all of our needs) to have a half hour of quiet, calm, and peace. Our quiet time is after lunch and after story time. In general, I like to have a quieter environment after lunch as we transition to books and stories and into our official quiet time. One way to help this transition as we clear the table from lunch is through soft music. Calming music can make such a difference, it really sets a mood. In our home this can mean singing favorite soft tunes, listening to the classical radio station or sometimes a cd. Lately, it's been this one. A few minutes of soft music helps us transition for what comes next.

Once we've transitioned to our quiet time I have found the use of audio stories to be helpful for encouraging quiet. A favorite of ours was found at our local library and is even better because the library had only the audio and not the book that went with it. We enjoy it even more without the book.

Another group of audio stories that we enjoy are narrated by Jim Weiss, who has an extensive and impressive list of stories he narrates on cd for all ages.

We have been enjoying his cd Tell Me a Story (click on the link to hear a sampling).
It is wonderful for all of us to get out the sleeping bags and find a quiet spot and lay on the floor and listen to a story or two during quiet time.

I try my best to have my daughters separated during quiet time because, well, it just won't be quiet if they are not. Whether they want to be in their bedrooms or on a sleeping bag in a different room, my only requirement is that they have personal space to relax and rest. They will bring a few toys to their room or quiet spot they have chosen and sometimes a few books. Once we have settled into our quiet spots, I set the kitchen timer (30 minutes) so that I am able to enjoy my quiet time as well.

If you have ways you encourage quiet times in your home please share, I would love to hear.


Melissa said...

That cd looks like a great one, and I love the idea of audiobooks, too! I am similar in that I turn on some soft music and transition into a calmer, quieter part of the day right after lunch. The two cds I typically use are Celtic Lullaby and Brazilian Lullaby, both from Putumayo.

I also close curtains and blinds just to set the tone, but then I still have a napper so it's not just a time to play quietly. I love the idea of giving yourself time to recharge, even with older non-napping children, however. The kitchen timer seems like a great way to set this time, too!

Mel said...

Quiet time helps me regroup in the middle of the day, and be ready for the rest of the day. I try to have some activities for my daughters to choose from (beads, coloring, blocks, paper dolls, reading, etc.) and sometimes quiet time is the most creative time of their day. They really come up with some great things. Usually they do quiet time separately, but sometimes it is together. They complain occasionally, and if they come out of their room, I tell them it is my quiet time too.=) Something else that has been a lifesaver for me is a "Time Timer" that we purchased. It is used in the room where my younger daughter is and it is such a great visual for how much time she has left. We have loved that purchase.

Mel said...

I forgot to say that I put the timer up on a high shelf so she cannot adjust it.=)

Amy said...

Thanks for those tips. I actually closed the blinds today to set a more quiet mood-something I hadn't done before- so thanks Melissa. And, I also checked out the "Time Timer" which is a very cool way to help young children visualize time. Thanks for that tip, Mel, I had never seen one before.

Ronnie said...

We have quiet time everyday as well. My toddler actually falls asleep for her afternoon nap at this tine and my 5 1/2 year old spends quiet time on the lounge. He has about 15 minutes of resting his body and then can look at books for the remaining 15 minutes. Sometimes I softly play a CD (instrumental only) but I really like your suggestion of an audio book - my son loves these. Quiet time is also my rest time to recharge and prepare for the afternoon. We dont have a fancy timer but I have a button and a bit of blutack and I place the button beside the appropriate numeral on the clock and my son knows that when the big hand gets to that number quiet time is finished. As I mentioned the toddler is napping at this time so my son and I either get out a craft activity that is too involved for the younger one such as Hama beads or now that it is spring we head outside to play - his current favourite activity is hitting a tennis ball with a racquet.

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