February 15, 2012

~Quiet Boxes~

Nap time, you know that time of the day that moms look forward to. That time of day where you can get a lot done or not do anything and just relax. That cherished two hours every afternoon. That time of the day that I wish I got. That's right, naps have been boycotted in this house. For some reason my boys hit about two and a half and just stop napping consistently. Yeah, I will get them to nap occasionally but it is not something I depend on day to day. When Landon was small I would try to make him take a nap. I got so tired of fighting him, getting him to try to nap would take over an hour and I would be at my wits end. I decided it wasn't good for either of us and with the rest of the kids, I decided I would not make them nap. If I can tell they really need it I will try rocking them for a little bit but I was not going to force them. Like I said, it just created more problems than good here. Because of this lack of nap time, I have been wanting to put together some activities that the Trevor and Ethan could do on their own while I was able to devote some serious time to picking up, folding laundry, doing dishes, vacuuming, etc. I had an idea in my head and did a search on pinterest...jack pot. Most were called quiet boxes, and are basically a sensory and activity box that are for little ones to play in and have fun with for a certain amount of time.

We have a lot of really fun toys, games, and learning activities in this house. The problem is, you get all that out and you have a giant mess to clean up after they are done using it all. These boxes solve that problem! For example, I put a few of our lacing boards in the boxes, a few of our matching puzzles (words and math for Trevor, number recognition for Ethan). I started with the Trevor and Ethan on Monday, and the last two days have been a HUGE success! Monday, I set the timer for 30 minutes and Ethan went the entire time and then Trevor wanted to keep playing with his box and I think played almost an hour. Same thing yesterday, Trevor really gets into it and played for over an hour. I was trying to build up Ethan's time and set the timer to 40 minutes but he was done after 30. During this time, they have to pick a spot they want to be and can't play with anything besides what is in the box. This way I can really pick up, with out them counter acting what I am doing and getting other toys out!

I have a different box for Monday through Friday, and with two boys partaking that makes of total of 10 boxes. I was able to find plastic boxes (about the size of a shoe box) at Walmart for $0.96 each, and as far as everything in them, that didn't cost a thing. I found all of the items in the box around the house. I used modge podge to glue down the labels (I love the Dr. Suess font!) and dressed them up a bit with some scrapbook paper as well. A few things I will have to change every week, like coloring pages, paper, mazes, stickers, but most of the items in the boxes will stay put and not need to be replaced.

A few things that are in Trevor's boxes:
  • Color by number (he can read almost all of the colors by himself)
  • Math puzzles (one piece is a math problem, the other piece is the answer)
  • Lacing letters
  • Blank paper
  • measuring cups
  • beans
  • clothes pins
  • fabric
  • crayons, markers, and/or a pen
  • small puzzles
  • legos
A few things that are in Ethan's boxes:
  • Coloring book pages
  • clothes pins
  • beans
  • measuring cups
  • crayons
  • number puzzles (a picture of a ball puzzle piece connects to the number 1, four trucks connects to the number 4, etc.)
  • sunglasses
  • a wheel
  • buttons
  • magnets

I hope they continue to love this time, because I know I sure am loving it. I really can get a lot done in just 30 minutes of constant CLEANING mode. They ask if they could play in them right away yesterday morning, but I didn't let them until "quiet time", which for me is 2pm. Any time after 2 is when I have decided to make it "quiet time". I try to nurse Logan and get him down, and then I get the big boys going in their boxes and then I am free to do what needs to be done (or nothing at all if that is what I need!). 


Ellie said...

That's so creative, Nic! Love the box idea. I'll keep my eye open for anything to add to them :)I miss you guys...give the boys hugs for me!

Nicholle said...

Thanks, Ellie! We miss you guys, too. Ethan was pretending he had a puppy the other day, he said it's name was Izzy and that it doesn't poop in the house, lol:D

Una Opiyo | Good+Perfect said...

I love this idea. I'm going to try and use it. This way they'll get to play with most of the toys!