What is a Quiet Rest Time?
For the last 6 years we've practiced this rhythm of rest time. For 60-90 minutes a day each of us goes into a separate room of the house to be alone and rest. Sometimes we nap, but most of the time we just play or work on our own things. Since we're together so much of the day with homeschooling, this rhythm is recharging for my introverted children and it allows for quiet processing of all the information we've learned in the morning together.
Why Summer is the Best Time to Begin a Quiet Rest Time
Summer is the best time to begin this rhythm! Kids are often outside more in the summer mornings and by mid-afternoon everyone is sun kissed and tired! Taking a break from the heat and choosing something quiet to do can restore crabby attitudes and give kids the second wind they need for those beautiful summer evenings!
How To Start a Quiet Rest Time
When we first started our rhythm of rest it was short. We started with the goal of 20 minutes. We've had at least one child napping for the last 8 years, so it made sense to take our quiet rest time when the nappers would already be sleeping (usually sometime between 1pm and 2pm). Our squirmiest child got to rest in mom and dad's big bed where they would feel comforted and also could spread out all of the books and toys they brought with them! If they came off of their rest time, we just walked them back. Sending them in with snacks, water and toys that were novelties helped keep them interested. Audiobooks or music also helped a lot!
The more we practiced this rhythm, the easier it's gotten. Now that none of our children are napping age, we can skip our rest time on days where it just doesn't make sense, but for most of our days it's still a much needed rhythm!
Our Favorite Rest Time Toys and Activities
For Ages 2-4: The best things I've found for those who are newly "resting" vs. napping, which is common in this age group, is to have a toy that is a novelty--either a stack of new picture books from the library or a busy bag or a toy that only comes out during rest time. Leapfrog has a variety of products that are read-along books and pens and that has been a big hit with this age group! Having an okay-to-wake clock or some kind of alarm clock helps them know when rest time is over too!
For Ages 5-7: My kids in this age group have really enjoyed toys and games with small parts. So mini-figures or dolls with small pieces, intricate sticker books, Little Woodzeez, LEGOs and the like! Especially if they have a younger siblings who put things in their mouth, this is a great time to bring out the non-baby-friendly toys.
For Ages 8+: Older kids like projects. You may have a child in this age group who just reads the whole time, but also offering handcraft projects they can work on on their own or other "project" based activities is a hit! My oldest loves Snap Circuits, drawing, reading, origami, and definitely still LEGOs! Audiobooks are always a big hit too!
You can find all of these items on my Rest Time- Amazon Shopping List, where I do receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).