Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Not-so-quiet time

I decided that we are going to incorporate quiet time into our day.  Of course I should have known it would go poorly.  I hadn't prepared the kids for it.   I just announced it while walking around turning off televisions, the computer, the iPad.  It was met with great wails and gnashing of teeth.  I downloaded a visual timer onto the iPad and set it for an hour.  This was an over-estimation of the time that would be tolerated.  At least for a first try. 

I got out some toys that the kids like.  Blake was really mad and started throwing gears at me.  I said, "No throwing.  Play!"  and he actually settled down fairly quickly.  Drew sat in the recliner screaming, "No quiet time!  I need TV!"  I got a Clifford book out and sat on the couch in the same room with him and started reading aloud.  Not too loud, but enough so he could hear.  He yelled, "No Clifford!  Stop reading!"  I didn't stop, but kept right on going.  A second later, he said, "Oh no!  That hurt!" when Cleo hurt her paw.  When we finished that book, he said, "Read my bible book,"  so I grabbed his bible and the children's Arch book The Prodigal Son.  I read that to him while he flipped back and forth in his bible.  He said, "Eww, stinky pigs!" so I know he was listening.  By this time, Blake had come in the room and sat down.  After that book was done, Blake ran for another book.  Blue's Clues this time.  They both listened quietly, making comments from time to time. 

After Blue's Clues, I asked if they wanted "squeezin's".  That's what we call it when I smoosh them between two beanbag chairs.  Drew said no, but Blake ran for his blanket (which he likes on his back before the beanbag)  Next thing you know, Drew was saying it was his turn.  I gave him squeezin's and Blake climbed on my back.  Drew started hollering for Blake to get off, so we all crashed onto the floor.  That's how squeezin's usually ends.  With a crash. 

After that we played with boomwhackers, but found that to be a bit over stimulating for Drew.  Blake was quite zealous with the boomwhackers.  Don't know what boomwhackers are?  They are hollow tubes of plastic that make different tones.  Here's a picture:

If you go to Youtube and search Boomwhacker Orchestra, there are some really neat videos.  We sounded nothing like them, but they are still a fun toy. 

So, this was about 45 minutes into our hour, and I decided that was enough for the day.  I told the kids that if they cleaned up, then quiet time would be over.  Blake ran around picking things up while singing the Barney clean up song.  Drew sat down and wouldn't budge.  I said, "Drew, if you put the beanbags away, I will turn the TV back on."  Nope.  Blake tried to help him by doing it.  I said, "Sorry Blake, but that is Drew's job.  When he gets it done, we'll watch TV again.  Come help me make your bed."  He came with me.  When we went back in the toyroom, both beanbags were where they belonged.  I put the TV on and both boys sat down, glued to Madagascar.  It is kind of funny when I think about it.  I think it is more quiet now than when it was supposed to be quiet time.  Might have to re-think that name. 

As I always do when I try something new with the kids, I try to think of how I could have made it better and what I will change for next time to make it more successful.  The obvious take-away on this one is to prepare them for it.  I will put it on the schedule.  Maybe not make such a big deal about announcing it is Quiet time.  I think I'll put Storytime on the schedule with a set time like, noon.  Then when it is noon, we'll just pick out some books to read.  Then I'll turn off the tv in the room we are in, "so we can hear the story"  I guess the point is to get them involved in other activities.  If the TV has to be on in the background to keep them from getting upset, I may concede that.   And next time, I probably should make squeezin's come before storytime to help calm them down.  Lesson learned for the day. 


fragilemom said...

As 'napping' became obsolete, we started what we've termed "Down Time". Obviously, this is more for mom. The kids have to go to, and stay in, their rooms to play. Sometimes, they go to their separate rooms, sometimes I let them play together in one...depending on whether or not I think they need to sleep. Then, mommy does whatever....with no interruptions (for a whole hour!). Sometimes they just play, sometimes they actually sleep.