I have 2 kids. 5 and 1/2 years apart in age. Yes, the oldest is very helpful and plays with her baby brother and loves to help Mommy. The bad part is baby brother is little and still needs his naps which means a lot of down time for the 6 year old. Since it summer time and we're home more I knew I had to put something in place to save my sanity while brother naps and keep big sister busy. On Pinterest one night I came across some "quiet boxes" to keep kids busy. I knew I had to give it a try!
I rummaged through the kids playroom and found lots of 'quiet' activities that my daughter can do on her own. That's the important thing! It must be something they can do independently.
Here are some examples of things I found we already had: puzzles, magnets, dominoes, books (on her level), travel games, journals, matching sets, and more. On my regular visit to Target I also hit up the $1 section for anything quiet!
Example of a quiet box.
I purchased some clear stack-able containers. They are bigger than shoe box size but small enough to stack on our IKEA shelf. I purchased 6. I then started organizing the activities and sorting them out between the boxes. I bought 6 so my daughter could have one for every day of the week plus one on the weekend. You certainly don't have to buy 6. You could start off with maybe 3-4 and rotate them. I labeled mine with sticky notes 1-6 and we rotate. Some people label Monday-Friday but I didn't want it like that.
Everything fits nice and neat in the box. I do have some flannel boards that are too big for the container. I put all the flannel pieces in the box and then the board is on top so she knows to grab that with the box.These are just examples of what I use and had on hand.
We've been using the boxes for a few weeks now. She does love them! There are some boxes she loves more than others so it will be important to change up the activities every once in awhile and maybe add something new! Since baby still takes 2 naps (one short morning and 1 longer afternoon), I tend to have her do something else in the morning like water color or play dough and then she has a box for the afternoon. My daughter is 6 and pretty independent so I know what works best for her. If you have a younger child you can add activities according to what they can do. Also, the boxes are ONLY used while baby sleeps. I never let her use them during play time or when she asks. Otherwise I think they wouldn't be as special and she'd get bored with them faster. So the boxes are ONLY when baby is sleeping and she has to follow the rotation system. She will not have the same box she used the day before, even if she has something to finish. This is what works for us! Now go on, try out these quiet boxes!
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