Thursday, March 26, 2009
Simple Afternoons with a Preschooler
My little William is a handful. He is chunky and loud and cute and doesn't stop talking ALL DAY LONG. Right when I found out I was pregnant with baby #5, Will stopped taking his afternoon naps. And oh how I need some quiet in the afternoons!
My oldest son Sam was the same way. He dropped his nap by the time he was two, and I was pregnant and tired. That is when I first instituted an afternoon "quiet time" for an hour. I would give him a pile of books and he would stay in his room "reading" or playing quietly for an hour. My middle two children took naps until they were 6 and 5 so I never needed to start a "quiet time" with them...by the time they stopped napping, they started going to school!
Earlier this school year, Will would nap daily, Sam would play quietly on the computer, and I would nap or read or journal every afternoon. Now the scenario is that Sam plays on the computer, and Will wanders about LOUDLY or I reluctantly put in a video for him so that I can rest. But it's never truly quiet or restful when a TV is on.
So I am have been wanting to institute a daily "quiet time" for Will. It's been on the back-burner of the brain for a few months. Recently I read this post on creating quiet time bins for young ones and I knew I had found the answer for Will! I am also intrigued by these "preschool activities in a bag" and have been debating buying this book and hosting a swap. This would give Will something focused to do when I am trying to work one-on-one with Sam in the mornings...because he is a constant LOUD interruption...have I mentioned that Will is really loud!?! :)
So I have been busy pulling together some goodies for his quiet time bags. I didn't want to use plastic bins, so I have been happily sewing some simple drawstring bags and embroidering the days of the week on the front of each one in this free font and using some denim material I found at the thrift shop a while back. I am seeking to use what I already have. Inside each bag is going a few books and I have also set aside some wooden stringing characters, lacing cards, pipe cleaners, peg/shapes sorter toy, puzzles, etc....one activity for each bag. I am going to give him a bag each day to play with in his room and will start him off with 30 minutes alone and move up to an hour. Even though I know he won't play with those items the whole time, I think it will help settle him down, give him items to look forward to seeing again, and then maybe he'll just start playing or looking at others things in his room.
Being healthy and having margin means working towards small spaces of quiet and rest in our days. We need this. It helps us refresh, pray, refocus, and gives us a renewal in our relationships with each other. Regrouping and re-creating.
How do you find spaces of quiet when you have a toddler/preschooler at home?