We had a quiet day today after several long outdoor trips in the last week and I thought I would share what this means to us. I try to have one car-free day per week and this naturally ties into a quiet day. I also tend to follow the same structure, which works best for my early waking children, of activities in the house in the morning, followed by lunch, resting time (which is a nap or quiet sit down activities for Harry) and then out for fresh air in the afternoon.
I try to have some ideas in mind to suggest but am often led by what Harry finds to do. He shows great imaginative and creative play ideas given the opportunity. We usually incorporate some craft and/or baking, which can go on for as long as needs be if we have nowhere we need to go. Although I call them quiet days because we spend them on our own, we are usually very productive and cover a lot of ground!
Today he started cutting up sheets of coloured card, with no particular motive other than that he likes cutting, so I suggested we use them to make a collage picture of the Earth to tie into his current interest in space. We then moved onto mixing some papier mache paste and covering a balloon. Peter scribbled with pens while we did this and noticed for the first time that he was making marks - he was delighted!
We have been reading Wind In The Willows and spent the next hour playing a role play game instigated by Harry based on parts of the story, with an unopened pack of 9 toilet rolls forming Ratty's boat to cross the river (I think the toilet rolls may be squashed flat now!). Some sort of role play imagination game usually forms part of any day we spend at home, the most common ones being firemen, police chases, rescue ropes over the stairs and re-enactment of fairy tales.
There are a few activities that are hard to do when Peter is around - mainly small things like beads, jigsaws and meccano as Peter likes to scatter them everywhere, so Harry and I enjoy choosing what to do when Peter has a nap. Today we made a hama bead pattern and I was really pleased that Harry chose the colours as it is the first time he has made a true pattern rather than using all the colours in no particular order.
We headed out to our local playground this afternoon and the sun came out so we went straight into the garden at home to colour with outdoor chalk, check on our potatoes and eat ice lollies!
The playroom usually looks something like this after a quiet day :-) Peter was rolling biscuit cutters down the garage ramp and Harry was building lego walls to protect something from bears.
I love this type of day, although I find once a week is enough as they are both at quite intense ages! It gives us chance to catch up, regroup, rediscover things we like doing at home and follow our own agenda. I will definitely continue trying to plan our quiet days into our life.