I was speaking to a client earlier this week about her 3.5 year old. He has been skipping naps for a few weeks. She continues to put him down for his regular naptime, but he rolls around, sings and calls for her. The two days before she contacted me, he started making a lot of noise, and disrupting his little brother.
It is very common to see this change around this age; he is dropping his afternoon nap. My suggestion to her was to create a “quiet time box” for him, to keep him occupied during his downtime in the afternoon.
What is a quiet time box?
When my son dropped his nap, I wanted to make quiet time fun, so I went to the store and bought a new green box (his favourite colour) and we decorated it together.
I also picked up some new toys. Things that were quiet, and things that couldn’t make a lot of mess.
This puzzle turned out to be a little difficult (the numbers on are both sides, so hard to tell how to link them together) but he had fun playing with the pieces separately.
This was my favourite purchase because I knew he would have fun with it, and it wouldn’t make a lot of mess. You put water in the small pen, but it isn’t enough water to make too much of a mess if it spills.
3 Simple Rules:
The purpose of these toys and the box is to make it new and interesting. If your child has been protesting his downtime by coming out of the room or making a lot of noise, introduce the box with a set of simple rules:
- If you are quiet, you can play with the items in the box.
*You might decide to only take out two or three items during one day, and then mix it up the next day
- If you come out of the room, the toys go away for the remainder of quiet time.
- When quiet time is over, put all of the toys back into the box.
Once you have decided on your rules, write them down and remind him of the rules before quiet time. You don’t have to spend a lot on the box or the items inside of it. Stop by your local dollar store or Target (if you are lucky). You can also change out the toys from time to time.
He needs his quiet time, and so do you!