The Quiet Time Basket

               quiet time basket

Aaaahhhh…. A little afternoon quiet, anyone?

Ok, so sometimes our kids have those days.  You know the ones…  “He took my toy.”  “She touched me.”  “They won’t let me play.”  What is a busy, loving mama to do?

Enter The Basket.  Whenever the Littles are having a bit of trouble getting calm, I pull it out.  The basket (my huge one was gifted by another homeschooling mama who fortunately didn’t see the potential!) is filled with quiet things to do.  Nonfiction books on many different subjects: nature, science, camping, creating, anything I think will hold their interest.  There are pencils and paintbrushes and scrap paper and sketch books.  Glue and glitter and construction paper.  Crayons and watercolors and coloring books.  Even a couple of canvases to paint on.

When things get out of hand, Mama calls out, “Quiet time!”  The Littles go to the basket, pick an activity, and find a place on opposite ends of the room to sit.  I set a timer, usually for 15 minutes, but if I (or they seem to) need more time, for half an hour.  Anyone who talks during that time loses a privilege for a day: TV time, weekend game time, etc.  Suddenly the house is quieter even than I would like.  The Littles become engrossed in their chosen activity.  They calm down.

Here’s the cool thing.  At the end of the allotted time, we gather together in the middle of the room and share.  If Middle read a book about insects, he tells us something new he learned.  If Littlest drew a picture of a zombie war, he explains it to us in hilarious detail.  By the time we’re done, we’re all laughing and completely relaxed.  No more fighting.  They are ready to coexist again.

The Quiet Time Basket is a minor miracle.

Every few weeks, I switch things out; add different books, put in whatever goodies I’ve picked up at the dollar store.  Whatever keeps it interesting.  Because it always works.  Even better, when we have a long break, say summer, I use it to keep them reading and learning.  They don’t even have to argue or get grumpy, I just pick a moment to call out and we head into Quiet Time.  During the breaks I even take part in Quiet Time, picking an activity of my own to share with the Littles.

The trick is to never make it seem like a punishment, because that’s not what it is.  It’s just a little break from the stress of their day.  And it works wonders.

Give it a try and let me know how it works out.  I’d love to hear from you.

Love wins,



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: 15 Ways to Cure the Summer Blahs | Lit Mama Homeschool

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