My husband works a night shift. He leaves right after we put our kids to sleep and gets home right before they get up. So he has to sleep during the day. Our kids are 1 and 4 and they are terrible about letting him sleep. They whine about getting him up and are horribly loud all day. I feel bad because I know it's hard for him to get any sleep. We live in a smaller one story house so them being noisy really is a problem. Any ideas on how to get them to understand they need to quite down and let him sleep?
by jacandjayFebruary 8, 2013 at 9:55 AMThey are kids... they are going to be loud..
Quiet Play Activities for 2+
1. Teddy Bears Picnic – pop down a picnic rug, toy tea set and your child’s favourite soft toy friends
4. Puzzles – those which provide an appropriate level of challenge are great for any age.
5. Stickers and a sticker book.
6. Collage – add lightweight collage materials, a piece of thin card and a glue stick for minimal mess.
7. Playdough – vary your usual ‘tools’ to extend extend interest in the activity. Try sticks and other natural materials, cupcake wrappers and popsticks, rubber stamps and rolling pins, items with interesting texture, or add your child’s favourite figurines.
Quiet Play Activities for 3+
9. Felt or flannel board stories
12. Modelling – with air dry clay (it is often available in a less messy porcelain white) or plasticene. Add any of the tools described in ‘Playdough’ above.
13. Watercolour painting – once a child has practiced the process of using watercolours it can become a very independent, low mess creative option for quiet play.
14. Block construction – in the brand new Play Grow Learn downloadable e-zine you will find a great article with lots of suggestions for extending block play.
15. Figurines – add your child’s favourite figurines or small vehicles to a play scene.
A long time ago, the girls were given a gorgeous fabric pencil roll each (like this one from Moeder Kip), filled with coloured pencils. Those pencil rolls have been worth their weight in gold. They are light and easy to transport and they keep the pencils easily contained as well as easily accessible. I keep a little bag with a pencil roll and some small notebooks (one per child) in my car all the time for those unexpected waiting moments (see the image above). As much as I don’t much like colouring in books, in situations like this they are perfect.
Eye Spy and Other Games
The girls LOVE a good game of eye spy now that they are reading and can spell most simple words. We modify it for the three year old by spying colours, or giving hints to things. Eg. “I spy something that has wheels, a motor and drives on the road.”
Shoe Spot – You need to be somewhere where there is lots of people for this one. Suggest a type of shoe to look for, red high heels, purple sneakers etc and then wait till you can spot someone wearing them.
Or how about a quick game of rhyming words… someone says a word and you take turns in saying other words that rhyme with it. Beware, this came always ends up with silly words and lots of giggles, or someone saying a slightly rude word and even more giggles.
I love to people watching and so do my kids. The foyer of the Royal Melbourne Hospital is a fabulous place to people watch, so many different people coming and going and waiting! My kids love to hear me tell the story of how my grandmother used to make up stories about the people we saw as we waited in the car for my Mother on shopping day, and they love it even more when I continue the tradition and make up crazy stories about the people we see while waiting.
We have lots of ‘fuzzy felt’ sets with various felt characters and pieces. While the felt boards can be a little difficult to carry around, it is easy to cut a large piece of felt to use instead. Just roll of the felt background and tie with a ribbon and pop your felt pieces in a small bag.
A pack of cards is easy to pop in the bottom of your bag and even if you don’t play a proper card game, little kids like sorting cards and reading numbers and we’ve even made card houses on hospital tables. We’ve recently started teaching the big kids (including the 3 year old) how to play Uno which is nice and portable as are our various games of snap.
Pipe Cleaners and Post It Notes
My kids love crafty stuff, but it’s not really practical to be cutting and pasting while in a waiting room. But you’ll be surprised at what kids can create with pipe cleaners or post it notes. They are cheap, easy to carry, quiet and easy to clean up. I’m also quite keen to get my girls involved in Project Beautiful now that they can write – what better way to practice writing, develop positive self esteem and share positive messages?
A bag full of small treasures catered for individual children is easy to carry around doesn’t take up much space while playing either. I like to choose items that encourage imaginative play, but try not to pick things that have lots of teeny tiny bits that are easy to loose. A hand full of small plastic animals, some matchbox cars, ponyville ponies, fairy figurines, or a handful of duplo.
Music and Spoken Stories
Our big kids all have cheap mp3 players that we bought of ebay initially for long car trips (to stop the arguments over who got to choose the CD!) but they are great have for when you have to wait too. Small, light and easy to pop into your handbag! We load ours up with various music and spoken stories from Story Nory and podcasts from The Land of Nod(Barenaked Ladies is our fav – “Is it a guitar????”). Make sure you have charged up the battery and invest in a car charger just in case you run your batteries low while out.
Usually I don’t share my precious iphone with anyone, least of all my children! But sometimes having something small, portable and very engaging is just what I need. I use this as a last resort, when all else has been played with, when we’ve been there way too long, when they are tired, or just over everything, that’s when the phone comes out. Make sure you bring some ear phones for those times when even quiet iphone sound is too loud, or for when you are somewhere noisy and you can’t hear the phone well. Some of the games my kids enjoy – Sea Maths, Doodle Buddy (take a photo of someone then draw on their face, awesome!) ABC for Kids, First Words by Learning Touch (even the baby is distracted by this), Finger Piano and of course Angry Birds.
If he's home and you know how to drive and have the car, take them out to let them get their noises out. Get quiet time activity ideas for when your at home from online. Bundled them and yourself up if you live where it's somehwere cold and let them run around outside, etc.
Well, you're only going to get so far with 2 little ones and noise, DH worked nights when DS was 1 and DD was a newborn...the best idea is to handle things on his end for the times when the kids are fussy, or playing. He could run a fan in the bedroom, for noise- proofing, or get a "sleep machine" or noise machine, or play a relaxing CD....also, if you haven't already, light- blocking drapes will help him with the sunlight issue (if you're on a budget, some people just put aluminum foil on the windows). Good luck!