Simple and Easy Quiet Time Boxes for Toddlers

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I’ve been mothering for 11 years almost, however, I didn’t start using quiet time boxes until about 3 years ago. Now these simple and easy boxes have been lifesavers!

What Are Quiet Time Boxes

They’re simply boxes, baskets, or whatever you want to use filled with quiet, age appropriate activities. I use these mostly for my 4 year old, but my 7 year old will also play with them. I have included a few activities even my 10 year old can play.

Toddler carrying a quiet time box.

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Quiet time boxes come in handy not just for rest time or nap time, but also when you need to make phone calls for appointments or you just need some quiet time that’s educational rather than screen time. We also use these frequently when my husband has work meetings in our home. Trying to keep 4 children quiet during a meeting isn’t easy, each child can choose a quiet time box or they may choose just one and all play quietly together.


Activities to Include

  • Dry rice and beans with utensils
  • Playdough and accessories
  • Kinetic sand and accessories
  • Coloring books
  • Card games
  • Puzzles
  • Magnets
  • Dry erase books
  • Mini toys
  • Books
  • Fine motor activities
Toddler putting together a space puzzle on the floor from one of the simple and easy quiet time boxes.

This is the perfect time to buy multipacks of things. I was able to buy a multipack of puzzles, coloring books, journals, and even card games. This helps to save money and helps fill up each box. Target dollar spot is a great place to find budget friendly and fun games and activities!

How to Assemble

First, I recommend shopping your home. As I’ve mentioned in other blog posts a great way to save a few bucks is going around all your rooms and looking for baskets, boxes, and containers that aren’t being used. You may want to rotate through boxes, especially if you use them daily, so decide how many containers you need. Grab your items you want to place in each container. Once you’ve gathered all your supplies make an assembly line with your containers and begin filling. Open those multipacks of items you purchased and separate into each box.

Woman in bedroom, filling quiet time boxes with card games, puzzles, and other activities.

Lastly, it’s helpful to label the containers. I used address label stickers because it’s what I already had on hand. But you could use a marker, print on cardstock or paper and laminate, you can use printer labels, or a label maker. Basically, whatever you have on hand that will do the job.

There’s multiple ways you can label the containers. For example:

  • Number each container. Then when picking a container, the child can clearly pick box 2 for that day and on another day they might pick box 5.
  • Label for each day of the week. So every Monday they would play with the Monday box and so on.
  • Label by what is in each container. Kinetic sand, playdough, etc.

How to Organize Quiet Time Boxes

After you have the containers labeled and ready for play, you need to decide how to store them. Since these are meant for quiet/rest time, they should be stored where your children can’t easily grab them. For example:

  • Locked cabinet
  • Closet
  • High shelf

I have our boxes stored in a hallway closet on a shelf most of the children can’t reach. When we’re ready for quiet time, I just open up the door and they select which box they would like by saying the number or the activity (playdough, beans/rice etc) they want for quiet time. Obviously, by keeping the containers out of reach and only used at certain times, they’re more excited to play with them.

Quiet time boxes displayed in storage closet. Kinetic sand, dry rice and beans, playdough, and two other mixed quiet time boxes displayed.

What’s In Our Quiet Time Boxes

Box 1

  • Connect 4
  • Tic-Tac-Toe
  • Balancing Counting Dinosaur
  • Magnetic Dress-up Dolls
  • Two Puzzles
  • Coloring Books
  • DIY Book
  • Dry Erase Book
  • Two Card Games
  • Box of Crayons
  • Magnetic Animals
Box number one contents displayed on rug.

Box 2

  • Coloring Books
  • DIY Book
  • Magnetic Tangrams
  • Chef Balancing
  • Tic-Tac-Toe
  • Box of Crayons
  • Two Puzzles
  • Two Card Games
  • Magnetic Places
  • Mini Lite Brite

Kinetic Sand Box

We have this kinetic sand kit that’s been a lot of fun for them! It comes with sand and lots of accessories!

Three boxes displayed one with dry rice and beans, one with kinetic sand, and last one with playdough.

Playdough Box

We have store bought playdough, but we frequently make this easy no cook playdough recipe too! In addition to playdough toys cookie cutters make great accessories for playdough.

Beans and Rice Box

Dry beans or dry rice is such a fun sensory activity for toddlers! You can even dye your rice for added fun! We love this accessory kit too!

Drop your e-mail below to grab a free playdough mat to include in your own quiet time box!

You might also enjoy this blog post with tips to develop your child’s love of reading!

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