When I was working from home, it was tough to get a lot of work done with both kids up. I quickly learned I needed to maximize my time and just chalk up a loss for the hours I had both kids. So, I figured out my best working times. The absolute best was the mornings before both kids woke up. The kids wake between 6 and 7, so I make sure I’m up at 5 each day. This usually gives me an hour or more of time to myself. The second big working time for me was during L’s nap. AG is old enough to do activities on her own which allowed me to get things done. In the beginning, I would just have her color or go on ABC Mouse.com. My hopes of those things keeping her entertained came crashing down when she was climbing on my desk asking to work with me after 10 minutes. After that it was going through orders and entire rolls of washi tape per day. I was desperate to find a solution for nap time, which is when I decided to try out preschool quiet boxes.
When AG was younger, I made a ton of busy bags for her. She enjoyed doing them and they really did keep her busy. Using some of those busy bag ideas along with a variety of toys/ educational games (Melissa and Doug Toys are our favorite) we had at home, I started putting together quiet boxes for nap time.
I decided on 4 boxes with 2-3 activities in each box. My thoughts were on Friday she and I would have girl time together or if I had a little work to do, she could redo her favorite throughout the week. When I first tried the boxes, I was thrilled with how well they worked. I made sure she knew the rules. One box per day. A set amount of time for her to do “work.” Her own area to do everything, in my office next to me. She had a lot of fun with them and I could tell that having a bit of a schedule was beneficial for the both of us.
There were days she didn’t want to do the particular activity or wanted to do one from a previous day. I’d let her make the changes and take a break if she wanted. I didn’t want her to not look forward to this time, my goal in creating this was for it to be fun for her.
In this particular box, AG did her own creation. She loves playing with rice and her animals. Believe it or not, this is the box she spends the most time using. This is a great idea for sensory and imaginative play.
I mentioned above, we love our Melissa and Doug learning toys. In this box, there are pattern blocks and a popsicle stick felt activity.
In this box, I have lacing cards along with stamps. Under the cards there is paper for her to do her stamping.
This box is all about the alphabet. There are magnetic letters along with practice dry erase cards. I usually give her the preschool sight words do practice with on this day.
I’m working on another post filled with quiet box ideas. If you have anything that works well with your littles, I would love to hear!