Quiet time


What you may need

  • Poster paper (or something large to record ideas on)
  • Markers or other drawing resources
  • Energy
  • Quiet time space prompts (Cushions, blanket, books, drawing things, etc)

It is a common practice in many early learning centres and organisations that after lunch there is a quiet rest period. You can help establish this routine in your own home both as a sanity saver, as well as for your child’s well-being.

By encouraging and developing a quiet time, your child(ren) have time to unwind and relax. This will help both you, and your child(ren) as well as reducing the risk of the ‘arsenic hour’ around 5.00-6.00 pm because everyone will be more relaxed.

  • If possible, set aside a small part of a room or your house as a designated ‘quiet space’, this will act as a cue to your child(ren) that now is the time to unwind. If you don’t have the resources to provide a quiet space, have some quiet space prompts such as a few designated cushions or a blanket you can put out. Again, these cues will help you and your child(ren) know that a quiet time is required.


  • Quiet time, involves quiet tasks such as:
    • Solo drawing/writing
    • Reading to self or listening to audio books
    • Resting
    • Looking out a window
    • Staying within a designated space

You may need to model how to ‘be’ in a quiet space and help make visible the requirements of a quiet space. Create a poster with your child.

  • In the centre of the poster have your child(ren) draw themselves at rest. If drawing is not an option cut out a picture or place a photo of someone at rest
  • Draw three lines coming from the middle of the poster. Each line can have a label and a prompt drawing.
    • What will quiet time be like?
    • What do I need to do during quiet time? / What choices can I make during quiet time?
    • How will I know if I used quiet time well?

Ask your child(ren) to think about and decide in collaboration with you, what quiet time is all about and why it helps everyone. Once people have drawn ideas connected to each line, this poster can be displayed in the quiet corner to remind everyone of the HOW and WHY of quiet time.