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April 23, 2024

What Does Quiet Time Look Like at 4-Years-old in our Montessori home?

Four-year-olds are so intriguing and at such a unique place in their development. In my experience, they become increasingly social, more interested in academic subjects, and deeply engaged in pretend play. This combination can make for so many interesting conversations, experiences, and interests from your 4-year-old. This combination can also make for some difficulty in quiet time. Sometimes they can play for long periods of time, and sometimes they really crave more social interaction. 

I've found that children that might have played quietly alone for quiet time at 3-years-old can sometimes struggle a bit at 4. So, we make a few adjustment to accommodate as my kids get older. 

Montessori Parenting at 4 - Quiet Time

As my children need more, quiet time has to offer more in order to meet their needs. For us this means, changing locations when needed. We leave it open to try his bedroom (where there is more open ended materials), our playroom (with more academic and single purpose trays), or outside (gross motor.) Rotating between these areas on their own, keeps them busy, and helps to meet their needs. 

Sometimes, it also means wanting to work close to me. Which leads to a strong need for boundaries. Quiet time is not a time for socializing with me, it's not a time for me to play, and it's not a time for me to get things for anyone to play with. But, sometimes working closely to me can actually lead to a more peaceful quiet time. So, I allow them to work in a living space as long as they can work independently. Sometimes this is how we will get the longest sustained play. 

I've found that consistency is most important when it comes to this arrangement. I have to be consistent in not allowing myself to get sucked into play, chatting, or becoming the runner (grabbing this and that.) At 4-years-old, I do think that children have the capacity to understand that this time of day is different than other times of day and respect those boundaries. If you find that your child isn't ready, you might have to readjust to a room without you. 

Finally, quiet time at 4-years-old looks like a lot of variety. It looks like some quality open ended materials like magnatiles, wooden blocks, and Lego. But it also looks like some simple art with his favorite markers or a practical task. Sometimes it looks like working with sandpaper letters or puzzles. With a lot of choices, we get a lot more engagement and a lot more interest in quiet time. 

Does your 4-year-old go to quiet time? What does quiet time look like for them? How do you make it successful?

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