5 Quiet-Time Activities for Preschoolers

Image via Alison Lee

As a work-at-home mother, there are only a few pockets of time in my day, where I can fully concentrate on my various freelance jobs of writing and coordinating book tours. My children are only 4 1/2 and 2 years old, and although they attend preschool for half days during the week, they are home a lot. How, then, does one squeeze in time when absolutely required?

Fortunately, my 2 year old still takes two-hour naps in the afternoon. My oldest though, does not. When I need some time to myself to finish up work, or simply to rest (working and being pregnant makes one very tired mama!), we break out some of our favorite quiet time activities, which are happily ones that also foster independence, and skills that all children need. I also asked a couple of mom friends what their children's favorite quiet time activities are.

Image via Alison Lee


This easel is easily the best buy we have so far! My preschooler LOVES to draw, and we let his imagination roam free. All you need is a dry erase white board easel (or just a board, but we love the easel because it's double-sided, so more than one child can get in on the fun), a few dry-erase pens, and you're good to go! He can easily spend 30 minutes to an hour, just drawing.

{ MORE: 10 Fun Ways to Teach Your Child How to Write Their Name }

Image via Alison Lee

Practice Writing

My son is at an age where he is enjoying learning to write and read, and can spend a fair amount of time practicing his letters. We have workbooks with practice sheets in them, and make it fun by using different colors for each letter. Learning while having fun? Win-win.

Image via Leah F

Build A ‘Hidey Hole'

“When my daughter was smaller (she's 7 now), we would make a ‘hidey-hole' for her. She could take in a few stuffed animals, or one of our cats would climb in with her, and she could ‘read' to them from a stack of books. It's a great way to practice reading.” — Leah F.

{ MORE: Tips to Motivate You to Get the Kids Outside (Even Though it Gets Dark So Early) }

Image via Leah F.

Quiet Bins

“We made several bins of ‘quiet' toys and put them away to rotate out on a weekly basis (one for Monday, one for Tuesday, etc) . I'd pull out one, hand it to her on her bed, along with a snack for quiet time. The bins had things like puzzles, books, LeapPads, sewing cards, crayons, and coloring books, etc.” — Leah F.


Image via Val Curtis

“This is a great activity for small motor skills and eye-hand coordination. Grab a colander, a handful of pom poms and a handful of pipe cleaners. Flip the colander upside down and place a pipe cleaner in one of the holes. Bend it to create a little loop and push the other side into another hole. Ask your child to place all of the pipe cleaners and then decorate with the pom poms.” — Val Curtis

{ MORE: How to Get Out of the House with a Million Kids }

What are your preschooler's favorite quiet time activities?

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5 Quiet-Time Activities for Preschoolers

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, she traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison is a former blogger (Writing, Wishing), and her writing has been featured on Mamalode,On Parenting at The Washington Post,The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, Club Mid, andDrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists ... More

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