By Tracy Lane
Have you encountered the summer slump yet? It comes fast! In our house we’re learning to juggle a slow summer schedule with my busy work-at-home schedule. So I’ve had to be creative with getting my kids into independent play so that I can do my independent work.
Even if you don’t have work deadlines, we all need a few quiet minutes as moms where we aren’t the primary entertainers.
If you haven’t heard of quiet bins, get ready to fall in love with them! A quiet bin is a box or container with a simple, engaging independent play idea. They give young children invitations to explore, discover, and play. All while developing important early skills.
Here are 8 quiet bin ideas to give you a break.
- Nuts, bolts, lock, and keys. Find spare ones laying around your garage and junk drawer. Fill a small bin with them and your three to five-year-old is set for some fine motor play.
- Foam alphabet letters plus something that starts with each letter. Ask your child to match the letter to the object. This is great for preschoolers or beginning readers.
- Play-Doh creative play. Add several mini containers of play-doh (so you don’t panic if they mix or dry out). Include a few clay tools and mini cars or dolls. Whatever you kid is into.
- Cutting fun box. What child isn’t begging for scissors? Make it a safe and fun option. Add ribbon, colored paper, old cards, straws, parts of a pool noodle, and streamers to vary the textures.
5. Sensory seeking box. This is also a great calm down option for settling emotions too. Add a light up ball, a spiky ball, a bendy rabbit, a stretchy bracelet, a plastic hourglass timer, and a balloon filled with sand.
6. Sticker box. Fill the bin with rolls of stickers and notepads of paper for the most basic. You might also like to pick up a few of the Highlights books that include sticker puzzle pages in them.
7. Threading box. A few pipe cleaners. A few big beads and you’re child is set for at least half an hour of creating.
8. Sponge blocks box. Cut up a package of store bought cleaning sponges into strips. Those are your child’s stacking, building, or pattern blocks.