As a mom of three young children, the notion of “quiet” is oftentimes hard to come by! But that is perhaps also the reason why I began to recognize the need in our home for a relaxing space: somewhere that could be specifically designated as an area for my kids to find a few moments of calm amongst the chaos!
From parents to kids, everyone needs a little bit of quiet time to recharge. I find that by taking time for some movement, listening to music, or even just taking a few deep breaths throughout my day, I am able to refocus my energy. I have noticed that my kids also benefit from those same mindful moments. Whether it is my toddler being overwhelmed by big feelings or my older two coming home after a long day at school, a few minutes of mindfulness or quiet activities to recenter their focus makes all the difference in helping them to recharge and reset!
I am looking forward to highlighting how I created an inviting space that showed my kids quiet time can be fun, and how it also encouraged them to embrace mindfulness. I’ll also share how some of our favorite LeapFrog® toys can help make quiet time fun as well as serve as an introduction to mindfulness!
What is Mindfulness?
In general, mindfulness is simply slowing down to place focus on what you are doing, feeling, and sensing in the present moment. This idea can apply to the acknowledgment of feelings, as well as breathing, a task, physical movement, or your surrounding environment. According to Mindful.org, when we teach mindfulness to kids, we give them the tools they need to build confidence, cope with stress, and relate to uncomfortable or challenging moments.
Creating a Quiet Corner
We have a window nook that is just far enough removed from all the action, which makes it a great and welcoming space for quiet moments. I knew it would be the perfect spot to turn into our quiet corner.
The first thing I wanted to do was make it extra cozy! I suggest adding things like cushions, pillows, a stuffed animal pal, blankets, and anything else that invites relaxation.
I knew it was a success as soon as I set up the window seat and my youngest immediately climbed under the blanket with her interactive touch-and-talk LeapFrog® LeapStart® Learning Success Bundle™ to enjoy an activity!
Next, I added a small bin that was made into a kit full of toys and other items that promote mindfulness and can be incorporated into our quiet corner.
Inside our Quiet Kit
Let’s talk about what is inside the Quiet Kit that I put together for my kids. I wanted to find a variety of items that would help to keep quiet time engaging and fun while also helping to introduce mindfulness.
First, the LeapFrog® LeapPods Max™ headphones are an absolute MUST for our quiet corner. I am not sure I have ever come across anything that is as loved by all three of my children as much as these headphones are! Along with a variety of music, they are filled with hours of audio adventures, energizing movement challenges, and activities that introduce mindfulness. All three of my kids find them to be easy to control, comfortable, and so much fun! Different modes make them perfect for dancing, meditating, relaxing, and learning!
The Challenge mode playlist is my toddler’s favorite! She is able to focus on moving her body and practicing her gross motor coordination skills. She loves energetic songs like “Wiggle Freeze” and “Jumpin’ Jellybeans”.
My 8-year-old enjoys switching modes. She listens to instrumental music while she draws and she likes to catch up on her favorite podcasts using its Bluetooth® wireless technology. I also encourage her to listen to the Quiet mode for guided meditative narratives that can help her feel refreshed after a long day at school.
My 6-year-old loves to listen to the immersive Adventure mode that is filled with engaging soundscapes and can be combined with the included Adventure Passport guidebook.
While they enjoy exploring all these fun audio activities, I love that these headphones also promote self-awareness and emotional well-being through mindfulness, making them a perfect addition to our Quiet Kit.
Next, I added a few fidget toys to the box. Things like a squishy stress ball, fidget spinner, and snap links all fit into a bubble pop clutch pouch. My kids explore these different fidgets that encourage focus while listening to their headphones.
Another mindfulness activity that I added to our toolkit is a homemade sensory bottle. We have made quite a few of these bottles and I always try to keep at least one in our quiet corner. To make your own, fill a clear plastic bottle with distilled water and add a drop or two of glycerin. Then add items like glitter, pom poms, or confetti and apply heavy-duty adhesive to the lid before closing it tightly. Shake it up and watch the items swirl before slowly falling to rest. This is such a calming activity to slow down one’s mind and once again, it is something my kids love doing while listening to their LeapFrog® LeapPods Max™ headphones!
I have also included a children’s mindful breathing board book in our Quiet Kit. Breathing exercises promote self-regulation, reduce anxiety, and support cognitive development among other benefits. Child-friendly narratives and stories serve as an approachable introduction to these techniques. Other book selections I will rotate into our Kit include books about children's yoga and feelings.
Finally, I included our LeapFrog® LeapStart® Learning Success Bundle™. Another favorite in our home, this learning system includes games, puzzles, and creative challenges to help kids build math, reading, and problem-solving skills. It is an independent learning activity that allows my kids to play and learn at their own level.
This corner has become such an asset to our home and family. My kids enjoy having this cozy and quiet area to use their LeapFrog® LeapPods Max™ headphones and focus on a variety of mindfulness activities that leave them feeling refreshed. They have found that quiet time can be fun and is something they look forward to incorporating into their day!
Jessica Grant highlights a joyful and creative childhood, motherhood, and home through her social media and blog, JessicaEtCetera.com. With a background in preschool education and now a mom to 3 young children, Jessica enjoys sharing all kinds of fun including crafts, DIY, and learning through play with the goal of creating a magical and memorable childhood!