Quiet Time – 3 Ways to Make it Work

An important part of the rhythm of our day is quiet time.  After lunch everyone settles down for an hour of quiet play and/or reading.  I started quiet time more as a way for me to regroup after a busy morning, but find it is equally as important for my children.  Now they don’t enjoy quiet time like I do, I would be lying if I said they were excited about it, but it’s only for an hour.

Each child gets to pick a quiet activity, the older kids need to read for at least 30 minutes and then are free to play quietly.  It gives each child a few moments to just be with their own thoughts, something that I think is particularly important in a big family.  My kids can always find a partner in crime playmate in the house, which is fantastic, but I also want them to learn that it’s okay to be by themselves too.

Making Quiet Time Work

I have figured out a few strategies that makes quiet time go a bit smoother.

First, we have been at it for a while so it’s just a normal part of our routine.  Being consistent with quiet time for most of our week is helpful.  We have one afternoon when we are out and about but we make car time our quiet time.

Second, everyone gets their own space.  Sounds like a no brainer but when three kids share a room that’s easier said than done.  I have had to get a bit creative in spreading everybody out, but it cuts down on the opportunity for problems to crop up if they are separated.

Finally, we incentivize the quiet behavior.  Right now they are working on a trip to Lego Land, Florida.  We have been planning a December/January road trip to the beach in Florida.  If they earn enough stars we will also go to Lego Land.  Now I’m not big on behavior charts and sticker charts, but we looked at this as more of a commission type plan.  If they worked extra diligently in this area, then they earned a pretty nice treat!  Much like in many sales type jobs, if you meet a certain criteria, sort of above and beyond, then extras are earned.

After quiet time we regroup, read a bit of whatever we happen to be reading as a family, do a quick around the house pick-up and then everyone is generally free to do an activity of their choosing for the rest of the afternoon.

The kids are well on their way to earning Lego Land and they are thrilled with their progress.  I’m thrilled with having consistent quiet times, they have become a habit in our day.


  1. Dawn says

    Great plan! I need to work quiet time back into our schedule. Our afternoons were so packed last year. I need to get control of that this year. How many days/stickers do they have to earn for LegoLand?
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. TeacherMamaTina says

    I love the idea of quiet time, Jen! :) I think I need to include that in our schedule, too. :) Thanks for the reminder! 😀 God bless always!

  3. Holly@ThreeSidedWheel says

    Quiet time is my daily sanity saver :) Just having a moment to ourselves during the day makes all the difference in our family. If we don’t get our mid afternoon quiet time in, putting the kids to bed 1 hour earlier (for personal reading/projects/play) works wonders in our house.

  4. Mary says

    We still have quiet time in our house. I love hearing about how you handle it with your six. You’re very creative! I’m not big on charts, either — but sometimes the situation just warrants it, right?

  5. Catholicmomof3 says

    Great ideas!!!! I can’t seem to log in with any of my accounts…… so I’m going to try doing the email way?

  6. gardenia says

    these are great ideas, Jen. I like the incentivizing for the trip that you use. sometimes they do need something to be working toward. We use quiet time in our home too, but it’s not always successful.

  7. Tifflynene says

    Oh how I need to get back to this! We used to be better when kids were younger but we all still really do need it. As you said, especially Mama;) Sounds like you all have a great treat to work towards!

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