Play Time, Quiet Time, Rest Time

boy on tire swing

In a child’s life, there should be zones of activity. This means that not everything runs at one speed at all times. Instead, there is a time for everything, even if it doesn’t occur at the same exact clock time every day. For example, playtime should be followed by rest time. And when your child wakes from a rest, there should be a bit of quiet time to give other siblings a chance to finish their rest.

What do all these times mean in your world? It can be different by each household, but here are suggestions for how to use each time effectively. The more variety in a day, the less likely your children are to become bored and whiny as well.

  • Play Time - Most mornings start off with a bit of play time while parents get everything assembled for the day. Older children can help get things ready for school or day care, but younger children are often best involved in a game or activity to let parents work.
  • Breakfast - Breakfast signals the end of play time. Once breakfast is finished, you might whisk your children away to school or childcare, but when either at home or at care, the rest of the day likely looks the same.
  • Play Time - After breakfast is a long play period. Children are rested and fed and have the energy to play for long stretches. This might be the time that you take your child outside to play before the day heats up, and little ones might enjoy a stroller ride during this play period.
  • Snack Time - Some time during the play time, a break for snack is usually appreciated by parents and children alike. The break gives them a chance to rest for a mument and change directions of play.
  • Play Time - After snacks, play resumes, but very young children might be ready for a morning nap. If someone in the house is sleeping, this play time might become…
  • Quiet Time - Older children don’t have to nap, but they might be encouraged to play quietly. Certain toys might be off-limits due to volume concerns and video games, television, books, and videos are nice calm activities for the most part that also give parents and teachers a chance to clean up from the morning.
  • Lunch Time - Lunch time is another big break in the day.
  • Rest Time - After lunch is the best time for a rest. Children are full and a bit tired, so send them up to their rooms for a rest time. Tired children might fall asleep for a nap, or they might just play quietly. Either way, the caregiver gets a break.
  • Quiet Time - While others are sleeping, those who are awake play quietly.
  • Play Time - After rest, it’s time to get the kids moving again with play. This is another nice time to go outside if you can stand the heat as the sunshine will stimulate the children and the active play will help them sleep better at night. You might serve snacks again during this play time.
  • Quiet Time - While you’re preparing dinner, you’ll likely want the children to be quiet and in control somewhere around you. This is a good time for a quiet activity such as a video.
  • Dinner Time - Eating a meal as a family helps to build communication within the family and encourages healthier eating habits.
  • Bath Time - After dinner, most children are ready for a bath. This is often the beginning of the evening routine.
  • Quiet Time - As everyone starts heading off to bed, those with a later bedtime should be enjoying quiet time to keep from disrupting sleeping siblings.
  • Bed Time - Finally, the day ends when the last child heads off to bed.

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