What are some quiet time activities for toddlers? We have 35+ simple activities and tools that help kids stay busy so you get a break!
You don't need hundreds of different activities and toys for quiet time, but being selective about the materials you put out for kids can help them play for longer! Toys that are open-ended and allow kids to use their creativity and imagination are played with longer than toys with limited purposes.
What is quiet time for toddlers?
Quiet time is when your toddler or preschooler gets a break from some of the more stimulating parts of their day and they have a chance to relax, play quietly (or at least quieter than the rest of the day), and have time to themselves.
Children typically participate in low-key activities during quiet time and take time away from their parents.
Quiet time gives children a chance to practice playing independently and making choices with how they spend their time. These skills are important for kids to learn.
How can I set up a successful quiet time?
You can set kids up for quiet time success by practicing together, keeping it short and positive, and having engaging activities prepared that encourage open-ended play.
Awesome Quiet Time Activities for Toddlers
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1. Building toys
Building toys are some of our favorites to pull out during quiet time. Toys like wooden blocks, Magnatiles, and LEGO encourage kids to use their creativity and offer limitless ways to play. It is also easy to add other toys like dolls and cars into play with blocks and other building materials. Scroll down to check out our favorites.
Lego DUPLO (and Lego bricks)
2. Mess Free Art activities
Quiet time is when adults and kids can get a break. We like to offer mess-free art solutions during quiet time so that kids aren't making messes and grown ups can relax and not be worried about anything getting damaged. These art activities can be played with again and again.
Sticker books (the Dollar Store also has great ones)
3. Action Figures/Dolls
Action figures and dolls help kids use their imaginations! There are so many different options to pick from. I recommended picking one or two to set out for quiet time.
4. Pretend Play
Playing doctor, making your own restaurant, and playing with stuffed animals are all great tools to encourage pretend play.
Playing with trains and cars and building roads and tracks can lead to hours of fun! Do you have a train or car lover? Do you have any other tools we should add there that your kids love to play with?
6. Puzzles & Magnets
Puzzles and magnets are simple and low-key. They are great to pull out again and again for quiet time.
Books are always a great choice for quiet time. Give kids a book box or an opportunity to listen to stories. We also enjoy I-spy books and Hidden Picture books. Your child's future elementary school teacher will thank you if your child comes to school knowing how to look at books independently without an adult sitting next to them!
Look at books
Audio books (from library or Audible)
Podcasts (Wow in the World, Brains On, etc)
More Quiet Time Activities for Toddlers
In addition to these quiet time tools, there are so many simple quiet time activities for toddlers they can do sitting nearby parents or in their rooms that will help them have a successful quiet time.
These activities to keep kids engaged when mom and dad are busy are so helpful to pull out again and again!
I also love these Quiet Time Tips by I Can Teach My Child! She shares some simple tools you can set up for kids.
What about screen time during quiet time?
Quiet time is a judgement free zone!
⭐️Sometimes, quiet time looks like kids doing semi quiet play in bedrooms with special toys set aside for that time.
⭐️Sometimes, quiet time means kids are watching Paw Patrol.
⭐️Sometimes, quiet time is sitting next to me drawing and playing with playdough while I am on a conference call or chatting with my sister.
Each kid is different. Each family's needs are unique. All parents need a "break" sometimes and it's ok to take one! Don't feel guilty.
Taking time to regroup and recharge is important. I am always a better parent on the days that I prioritize quiet time.