We’ve been using a “quiet time jar” to help my older son stay focused with quiet indoor activities while his baby brother naps.
I’ve written before about how Kiddo goes berserk in evening. It’s an ongoing problems, and every “solution” we have tried to introduce works for a while, but then wears off.
The standard parenting advice is to have a consistent bedtime routine. Well, we’ve had a consistent routine for 3 years! It is really the period between dinner and bedtime that is the hardest for me. Most of the time,my husband is not yet home and before New Kid came along I could always sit down and read books with my son to calm his energy before bed. This isn’t working anymore, though.
The quiet time activities jar:
My latest tactic to master the pre-bedtime hours is the “Quiet Time Jar”.
I covered a cardboard salt container (I have been hoarding them, because I knew they’d come in handy for something!) with fancy paper and gave it a label. It’s a little bumpy and messy, but seriously… if you want pictures of beautiful handmade crafts, this is not the blog for you.
I wrote down quiet activities on wooden craft sticks and put them inside the jar. (If you need some ideas see the comments below or check out my giant list of Indoor Activities for Kids) Kiddo can add his own ideas as he thinks of them, too. Each evening he chooses an activity out of the container — either randomly or by design — to occupy himself.
So far this strategy has been paying off. I know nothing lasts forever when you have kids, but hopefully this will keep us going for a while.