So nap times are pretty much a thing of the past for us, now that the boys are 4 and 7. But this mama still needs to decompress around the mid-afternoon. And let’s face it – although my boys might not be sleepy, they need some time to rest as well. To keep my two busy boys calm for about an hour each afternoon, I’ve got this list of our favorite activities for quiet time for older kids! (Quiet time here being our replacement for nap time, not a specific devotional time for which we do other things!).
Favorite Quiet Time Activities for Older Kids
Audiobooks and music – Listening to a story or music CD keeps the boys from getting wound up or starting a wrestling competition! Here’s some of our favorite CDs to pop on.
- Scripture Songs make good use of the quiet time and often help the boys learn their memory verses.
- Dramatic productions – We’ve really enjoyed the Heirloom Audio productions like The Dragon and the Raven and hope to add more to our collection over the years. (Amazon link)
- Books on CD like The Story of the World, and The Jesus Storybook Bible are some of our favorites. *Read my review of The Jesus Storybook Bible!
- Poetry readings – The IEW CD set for memorizing poetry throughout the school years is perfect – exciting poems that are fun to listen to and coloring sheets to go along with them!
- Melissa & Doug Cube Puzzles have six puzzles to solve in one game, plus they can be used for building as well.
- Melissa & Doug 4 in 1 puzzles are fun for the boys to solve and play games with like mixing the pieces for a more complicated puzzle.
- Usborne Wind Up Bus Puzzle Book – drive the bus around each page, or remove the pages to fit together a larger puzzle for a longer track.
- SmartGames USA puzzles – what makes these so great are they are built for a single player, so the boys can play by themselves or together to solve dozens of challenges and build their logic and spatial thinking skills (Amazon link)
- Usborne Story Path Book – Kids choose how their story goes – a fun storytelling adventure for ages 2-6
- Usborne Undersea Life to Color – learn about sea creatures while coloring (rainforest, wildflower, and butterflies also available)
- Usborne Little Children’s Activity Books – draw, solve puzzles, play games on a theme like space, knights, dinosaurs, Christmas and other fun topics!
- Usborne Brain Puzzles – solve logic and mind-bending picture puzzles, play games, and figure out brain teasers
- Usborne Maze Books – these complex mazes are creatively designed with loads of detail
- Usborne Wipe-Clean Books – use over and over again to doodle, draw, and trace, practice letters, numbers, telling time and more!
- Usborne 1001 Things to Spot Books – my boys get absorbed in looking for all the fascinating creature on each page
- Usborne Sticker Dressing Books – learn about history while dressing characters in detailed sticker costumes
- Melissa & Doug Water Wow – activity books that can be used over and over again. Paint, decorate, write and more – the water dries and then kids can draw again
- Melissa & Doug Decoder Books – perfect for budding detectives in the 7+ age range – solve puzzles and games to gain clues to solve the overall mystery like a real detective
Quiet Play Toys
- Sharks Fact Playing Cards or U.S. Presidents Cards – fun facts, cool pictures, and kids can play easy games like go fish or solitaire
- Usborne Learning Flash Cards – Optical Illusions, travel activities, famous paintings, astronomy, and even wipe-clean doodle cards. These are not your ordinary flashcard sets!
- Usborne 100 Planes to Fold and Fly – four different styles of planes to fold and one hundred cool patterned papers to create amazing flyers (try spaceships, or birds too!)
- Melissa & Doug Mess-Free Glitter Scenes – decorate stickers and scenes with rub-on glitter that doesn’t make a mess – promise!
- Melissa & Doug Origami – fold a collection of little animals with these easy directions
I keep a selection of quiet time activities in the boys’ room so they can enjoy some quiet fun each day. And that means I get a little down time too! It’s been a wonderful time for our boys to relax, create, draw, read, and play. Once we got into a routine, the boys even started going up to their room or finding a spot on the couch on their own most days!
Check out my article over at The MOB Society on Finding Rest When Your Kids Stop Napping – we all need to find ways to be refreshed, and “Be still” in the moments of our lives.