10 Sanity-Saving Activities for Quiet Time

Every kid needs a bit of down time during the day, and so do most moms. Whether you have younger children who nap, or you need a few minutes of quiet to make a phone call, quiet time can be a BIG asset! Here are ten of our all-time favorite activities for that sacred time of the day to help keep the kids busy and looking forward to Quiet Time!!

1. Puzzles — Clara is a huge fan of puzzles, and she especially loves these Layered Story Puzzles by Chelona. We have several of them, and they are extremely well-made. They still look just like new, even though she’s played with them lots and lots of times!

2. Felt Boards — You can easily make your own felt boards. This CUTE Very Hungry Caterpillar Felt Board Set caught my eye, especially since Clara loves the book & everything Eric Carle.

3. Highlights Hidden Pictures — This is one of Emily’s favorite Quiet Time activities. Each issue of Highlights Hidden Pictures is full of mazes, word searches, and LOTS of fun hidden pictures with stickers!!

4. Aquadoodle Mat — Draw with water, when it dries it can be used over and over again! I love that both of the girls can use this mat with minimal supervision.

5. Paper Dolls — There are lots of super cute paper dolls available for download. If you like a more vintage version, try Betsy McCall. Added bonus — they’re FREE!

6. 3D ViewMaster — This is a classic, right? Educational, simple, fun, and battery-free!

7. Beading — Older kids may enjoy beading and making jewelry. Emily is usually drawn to this activity, especially if I leave out colorful pony beads for her to use. Kids 3 and up may enjoy Melissa & Doug’s Primary Lacing Beads. Don’t have beads on-hand? Cut up straws will work in a pinch!

8. Lace Up Cards — Another great activity for quiet time, and you can easily make your own from empty cereal boxes and some shoe laces. Easy and very frugal! Melissa & Doug’s Lace and Trace Farm may be another version to try.

9. Board Books / Chapter Books — A few of Clara’s favorite board books, or for Emily a good chapter book can keep them busy & quiet for long periods of time. Emily especially enjoys The Magic Tree House Series and Clara loves the tactile experience of the That’s Not My … Series.

10. Writing Letters — Older kids may enjoy writing letters to grandparents, other relatives, or friends. Putting together a simple Letter Writing Kit made from items gathered around the house can help with this, so they can write letters, address envelopes, etc. mostly on their own.

To take Quiet Time one step further, make up a few different shoebox sized bins (from the dollar store, or recycle some empty shoeboxes) ahead of time with supplies for some of these activities!

Wishing you and your family a peaceful weekend!!


  1. Great suggestions! My kids also love sensory trays, although (depending on what’s in them) they may leave a mess behind! We use trays instead of bins because trays hold less, so if they dump it all out it’s less of a mess!

    • I can totally relate to the mesmerizing power of sensory bins!! Love the tray idea, thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. I need to create a few quite time activities. Sammy got some new toys for his birthday so those have been entertaining him since he stopped taking a nap. But I know I need to have some other things ready since variety is what keeps him entertained!

  3. These are some very good ideas. I also like to make simple flannel playsets for quiet time. I enjoy making them, the kids enjoy playing with them and they are very quiet.

  4. Great ideas. I was amazed a few Sundays ago when I gave the kids each a puzzle I bought at the dollar store. We had a quiet hour or so in the household. Each child was intent on doing their puzzle while my baby slept. It made it a nice peaceful Sunday afternoon.

    We haven’t ever done paper dolls. Thanks for the link to those ones. I am going there right now. That may be our quiet activity today!

  5. We also love the Look and Find books and get them from the library! And hidden toys are nice to pull out as well. I would be a grumpy mom without mandatory quiet time in the afternoon for my 4 year old.

  6. Really great ideas….all my kids love/d Highlights hidden pictures. Heck I still find myself searching them when they get the new editions LOL!

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. We also use a big batch of homemade play dough or paint for quiet time. Keeps from other 2 busy while baby is napping. A handheld dry erase board and marker is another favorite.

  8. I need to enforce some more quiet time with my kids. I’ll have to think how to make use of these ideas.

  9. Quiet time is a must in our house – especially on the weekends where we nap while daughter plays in her room. Her most favorite activity is clearly reading, but felt boards, paper dolls and Lego building are pretty popular too.

  10. We love Aquadoodles. You can even get out a bunch of Q-tips with a small cup of water when there a bunch of kids who want to play with it.

  11. These are all wonderful ideas. When my twins were little, they never stayed in their room for quiet time. And they were never quiet! It was very tense and I finally gave up, since being alone together was a recipe for disaster!

    Now that they are 8.5, they will play quietly.

  12. I love all these wonderful ideas! What a variety of things!

  13. My son LOVES the “That’s Not My…” series too!

  14. I also love to make personalized magnetic toys (using old cookies sheets and such) for my girls to use during quiet times. Here is an example (our family in hats) http://havingfunathomeblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/hats.html

  15. I am thinking I need to start a quiet time each day! Why hadn’t I though of this before? Such great ideas too – I have been thinking of a subscription to highlights. I recall having one myself & looking forward to it’s arrival n the mail, lol!


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