Saturday, August 10, 2013

Quiet Time Bins

Quiet time bins are not a few idea, but in the last month, I've decided to implement using them for both kids.  Natalie has quiet time in her room from after lunch until 3pm.  She has tons of toys and books, but sometimes she is still bored.  I'd realized in the past that if I highlight a toy or activity for her, it helps her stay entertained.  The quite time bin works exactly in that manner. 

The contents of Natalie's bin pictured here: several books (mostly My Little Ponies in this one), a few action figure type dolls, a puzzle, three magazines, flashlight, Little People lift the flap book (this one is about school), laminated friends matching cards, and princess puppets from 123homeschool4me, and a matching picture game. 

I put Natalie's bin in her tent, which she hasn't been playing with much recently.  She played with almost everything and continued to like it over several days. 

At first, I wasn't sure I wanted to use a quiet bin for William since I really want him to sleep during nap time.  But, I was finding that he could entertain himself for two hours with just one stuffed animal and his blanket!  That told me that there are just he just isn't sleepy (or he really loves tucking in his sheep).  William won't get off his bed to play with the toys in his room.  Natalie was the same way at this age.  So, I made him a quiet bin, too. 

William's bin contains: Little People lift the flap book (this one is the farm), several books (Yo Gabba Gabba, Thomas, Maisy, and a small lift the flap), a ball, toy phone, two dinosaurs, and several blocks that fit together.  Willaim loved the blocks, but played with everything.  I made adjustments to his bin sooner giving him the few Duplos we have and taking away the ball, Elmo puppet book (with really you need an adult for), and phone.  We also added a flashlight for him.  We keep the bin at the end of his bed during nap, but take it away for night to encourage him to sleep instead of play. 

I plan to rotate the items in the bin every week or two.  The category of toy doesn't need to be new every time as long as the items are swapped.  For example, you can swap a puzzel with a different puzzel or a group of dinosaurs for a group of cars.  

Ideas for quite bins:
  • Books!  Make sure for younger children that they are books that you don't mind being ripped. 
  • Figures such as dinosaurs, dolls, Little People, animals, etc.  
  • Blocks that fit together.  These are less frustrating to make a tower with on a bed.  
  • Peg puzzels
  • Magnadoodle
  • Small stuffed animals
  • Lacing cards (be careful of the length of the string and age of the child)
  • Reusable sticker books (for older kids)
  • Color Wonder products 
  • Flashlights
  • Photo albums
  • Homemade books
  • Puppets (especially finger puppets)
  • Busy board type toys which practice buttons, zippers or latches
  • Flashcards or matching games to look at the pictures

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