I wanted to provide you with 10 ways to get quiet time with small kids around because we all know we all need time to re-group and have a little peace. This down time is not only healthy for mom, it’s great for kids. Whether you choose to use that time to read, fold laundry, do dishes, listen to a podcast or do your Bible Study, these helpful ideas will help you realize it’s possible to get quiet time even with small kids. If you are doing household chores during this time, make sure to make the most of the mundane.
* Affiliate links provided for your convenience. Anything you purchase through these links helps to support Meaningful Mama and the free resources I provide. Thank you for choosing to support us.
The ideas presented here are not meant to do all in one day. However, if you do a few of these for 30 minutes to an hour, you can gain an extra 2 hours of mommy quiet time where you can get things done or just enjoy your own down time. Of course we should be intentional with our kids and give them the attention they need, but it is absolutely healthy for them to self-entertain and realize that mom doesn’t need to give them attention 100% of the time.
If self-entertaining is new for your kids, ease your way into it. Start small and then add time. Mix it up to keep it interesting.
10 Ways to Get Quiet Time with Small Kids Around
- 30 Minutes Reading Time – Establishing reading time can be done, even with younger who can’t read. Head to your local library to let them pick out books they are excited about that don’t break the bank. Little kids that don’t read can look at books with words or explore amazing picture books where kids can use their imagination to create the story. Here are a couple of my favorites: Tuesday and Flotsom. Let kids make a cozy little nook or fort for reading to keep it interesting.
- Busy Bins – My sister called hers “Krazy Kits.” These are bins you can rotate through the kids to keep them occupied quietly for quite some time. Just click on the link provided to discover more.
- Mandatory Outdoor Play – It’s healthy for kids to get outdoor time. If you have a safe place, let the littles have a scheduled outdoor time daily. I realize it’s not possible with babies or kids that put things in their mouth or wouldn’t be safe roaming around the backyard by themselves. That said, the older kids can have outdoor time while the little ones sleep.
- Rest Time/Quiet Time – Although at some point most kids drop a nap, there is no reason why you can’t continue with rest time. It’s a time when a child can be told they don’t have to sleep, but they can just rest in their rooms, playing quietly, looking at books or laying their heads on the pillow.
- Audio Books – Audio books are a great solution for getting some quiet time for mama. Kids can cuddle up with a blanket and stuffed animal or sit and do a puzzle or color while they listen to the story. It helps their listening skills as well and aids in creative thinking. Audio Adventures is a new Christian audio series from the former sound designers of Adventures In Odyssey™. Here are some of the historical fiction stories: With Lee in Virginia, The Dragon and the Raven, In Freedom’s Cause, and Under Drakes Flag. Read more about these here. Adventures in Odyssey is also great. We have enjoyed listening to the audio series of the Chronicles of Narnia.
- Screen Time – Yes, I said it. I think, in moderation, screen time can be OK and a huge sanity saver. Here’s what my research discovered is the truth about TV time. There are ways to work in educational opportunities in screen time if you pick the right apps and shows.
- Find a Mama’s Helper – A mama’s helper is someone not of babysitting age yet but can watch kids if there is an adult around just in case he or she needs help. These kids are very reasonably priced. I’ve been charged $3-5 an hour. Homeschool kids are the best for daytime help. They are excited to find a way to earn money and get some experience to one day be able to babysit on their own. I’ve had kids age 10-13 helping.
- Do a Babysitting Co-Op – A babysitting co-op is a kid swap with trusted friends. You watch their kids one day and earn hours, and they watch them another to pay back those hours. Swapping kids has been a favorite tool for gaining a bit of time needed to work around the house or on my blog. This fall, we are doing a date night co-op with 3 other families. Once a month, we will entertain all of the kids, but every other Tuesday of the month we will have kid free for date night.
- Set Up a New Activity – Here are 75 quiet time activities for kids collected by my friend, Angela, at Teaching Mama. You also might want to check out her book, “The Toddler Journey,” which is an amazing resource for parents of young kids.
- Podcasts – I haven’t gotten into Podcasts for kids, but I know some do them. Picklebums, however, has recommended these 10 best podcasts for kids.
I hope these 10 ways to get quiet time with small kids around help you find the balance of getting some mom time and being wonderfully present with your kids when it’s kid time. Parenting with little ones around can make you feel like you lost yourself, but I am convinced that allowing yourself a little space is beneficial for everyone.
If you need more, you should check out these 20 Ways to Keep Toddlers Busy.