I started having the kids spend quiet time in their rooms a couple months ago. It's been such a great routine for all of us. We do "quiet time" mid-morning, after breakfast and before any plans of the day.
Boo, my 3 1/2 year old, sits on the bed in his room and spends his quiet time "with God". Now, we haven't introduced structured times alone with God for Boo yet, although he's definitely at the age where he can do that. I wanted him to first get used to the idea of just having a time where he can quietly sit, talk to God if he wants and "read". Since he's not reading yet, his time "reading" really means going through a stack of bible books under his bedside table.
Honestly, I was a little surprised at how well he's taken to this routine. He usually looks forward to it, rarely says he doesn't want to do it, and will often stay in there longer than I expect - over 15/20 minutes. Sometimes he'll pray and read his bible books the whole time. Other times he'll only spend a few minutes doing that and then look through some of the other books on the shelves in his room. Sometimes he tells me what he prays and talks about. It's really interesting to hear and I love that he's learning to have his own relationship with God.
For The Noodle, quiet time is different. He's only 18 months old and the focus of quiet time for him is just that - quiet time. A time for him to play independently in his own room. It took a good week for him to get used to playing alone like this and I kept the time short at first - about 10 minutes. The first few times he cried on and off the entire 10 minutes. But he learned with repetition what to expect and now he enjoys it.
He takes books off of his shelf and looks through them on the chair. He'll often dump out his stuffed animal basket and find a friend to share his time with. I love peeking in on both of the boys while they're sitting/playing quietly. It's so sweet.
Please ignore the gaping hole in The Noodle's door. We're switching out the handles.
I usually put the gate up in The Noodle's room. I started this at the beginning so he wouldn't come running down the hallway for me. I could probably take it down now since he knows the drill but it's a good visual cue for him.
As for me, I use the time to take a shower and get ready. I like to wake up before the kids to have my own reading/quiet time. I've tried the reverse: showering before they wake up and quiet time while they're doing theirs but it just didn't work as well. I don't know about you other mamas, but trying to get ready while your kiddos are underfoot, having to discipline, watch out for them, etc. was a challenge. They're happier and so am I. And they seem to play together so much better when they've had a little time to themselves.
I've heard that there are several books out there that recommend quiet times like this for kids. Do you do anything like this? What do you do differently?