25 quieter pursuits for busy kids

I love it when kids get together and are a whirl of busy, noisy, humdinging energy, but one thing that I have learned about myself as a mother over the past 9 1/2 years is that the noise of children will surely kill me in the end. I just like quiet.

Not one of my children agrees with me that quiet is a good thing. All three of mine are bubbling cauldrons of loudness and I can’t see that changing. This means that if we’re going to hang out together 24/7 during school hols, I need a strategy for some kind of quiet time during most days.

Luckily, Max is a big reader and if the book is tempting enough, he’ll happily while away an hour or so engrossed in a few chapters. The girls like a crafting session and if I can find something they can do autonomously and harmoniously (big ask), we’re all winning.

My friend Deb had the right idea – she just never dropped the afternoon nap. Her kids, who are 11 and 13, still have an hour ‘nap’ in their rooms most days. Neither actually sleeps, but that quiet hour is something everyone looks forward to. Not dropping the baby sleep – what foresight Deb had!

Lacking her wisdom, I’m stuck looking for things for the kids to do that will amuse them long enough to stop bickering for a little while. Here are 25 ideas for cute things kids can do during ‘quiet time’.

1. I remember finger knitting as a kid.
2. Take old stuff apart.
3. My MIL gave the kids a huge jar full of buttons, so this button tree might be fun.
4. Green summery versions of these leaf animals will be fun.
5. Make a 3D comic book – Max will love this one.
6. Easy leftover-Christmas paper collaging.
7. Making blackboard play even more fun.
8. Indoor snowball fight (hopefully more like a snowball get-along than a fight)
9. Cut outs are great and Felix the Fox is pretty much irresistible.
10. A whole toilet roll people town would be good (we certainly seem to produce enough tubes!)
11. Nature cut outs and journalling.
12. Make butterflies out of straws and pegs.
13. Curate a post-it note gallery.
14. Weave a friendship bracelet on a loom.
15. Or try making a bracelet using straws.
16. Settle them in with a ‘talking book’.
17. Play with their glitter playdough.
18. Write in their holiday journals.
19. Build a colourful cardboard house.
20. Make some way cute popsicle people.
21. Work on their fairy garden.
22. Build Paris.
23. Do a little cloud gazing.
24. Hang a tag on the grateful tree.
25. Make some milk carton lanterns (we can use the battery-op mini-Christmas lights to light them up!).

Do you manage some ‘quiet time’ at your house each day?
Come play!
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