Quiet time. Two of the most beautiful words to a Mama’s ear. Important for a Mama, yes (yes!), but equally important to a little one. Quiet time is actually incredibly important for children. It gives them a time to process their day, learn independence, focus, and relax.
My little guys have some trouble settling into quiet, independent times so we use quiet bins, or boxes, as quiet time activities for preschoolers. Quiet Bins are perfect for little ones who no longer nap, super simple to set up, use materials you likely already have at home, and provide hours of quiet learning for children.
Inside each Quiet Bin I put a gently structured activity. An activity that is open ended for little ones to use as they please and never really be “done”. They provide just enough structure to help children settle into a time of quiet and they are also full of learning too.
I wrote an entire book on Quiet Bins that I think you will love. It is called A Year of Educational Quiet Bins: The secret to peaceful days at home with kids. It is available in print form and eBook form. These bins are perfect for children between 2-6 years.
Today I wanted to share one of the quiet time activities for preschoolers from that book. This one is a favourite of both my (almost) 3 year old and my 5 year old. Making a Fall Button Tree.
Cute right? And simple too. But best of all, it is strengthening little hands for future writing.
I have oodles of buttons at home, but if you don’t you can purchase a big assorted pack from the dollarstore. I used Fall leaf colours: red, orange, yellow, and green (though if you have a 5 year old, they might just remind you there are no green leaves in Autumn. More than once.)
I made simple little pipe cleaner trees by taking some brown pipecleaners,
folding them in half,
and twisting the ends together.
Then I put the buttons and trees together in a Quiet Bin. I left it very open ended at first, and introduced the bin to my little one just like that. He threaded the buttons onto the trees for just about 30 minutes!
Like all of the quiet bins in my book, this one is full of possibilities and ways to change up the activity.
- You could add numbers to the trees and children try to put that many buttons on that tree.
- Children could sort by colour and put all yellow buttons on one tree
- They could try to get every single button in the bin onto a tree branch.
- Older children could practice skip counting by putting two buttons on each branch, or three buttons on each branch.
- Patterning can be practiced by making each branch of the tree a different repeating pattern (red, orange, red, orange)
- Really strengthen fine motor skills by encouraging older children to actually “button” the button onto the tree branches (weave the pipe cleaner in one hole and out of the other in the same button)
Tons of possibilities for quiet time with this bin! And you can feel good knowing your little one is getting the quiet time he or she needs while strengthening important skills: counting, sorting, patterning, fine motor skills, attention, focus, and independence.
I would love you to check out my book! I know you will LOVE it! You can buy the eBook or a print copy directly from How Wee Learn.
See it here: A Year of Educational Quiet Bins
You can use the discount code “HandsOnMom” to get the eBook for only $6!
That is a whole lot of peaceful, quiet play heading your way.