For most kids, sitting still and staying quiet for any length of time is a challenge. In life, there are many places we take our kids where quiet is not only expected but necessary. Simply telling my kids it’s time for quiet and expecting them to zip their lips and sit still has never been a successful strategy for me. I’ve learned that as a mom, it’s important to have a few tricks in your bag to occupy your children during times they need to be quiet and calm. Whether you need your kids to sit quietly for a church service or other religious observance or you are looking for a peaceful Sunday afternoon at home, these activities will help you achieve the quiet time you need.
5 Sunday Quiet Activities for Kids
1. Busy Bags
The best thing about busy bags is they are designed to provide quiet entertainment for your child on the go. They are useful for keeping your kids quiet during church services, in doctor’s waiting rooms, or when visiting friends and family who don’t have a childproof home. These bags are also helpful at home when you need to keep your child busy during a younger sibling’s nap.
Busy Bag is simply a cute name for a kid-friendly activity that fits in a bag or pouch you can take on the go. I use gallon freezer bags and tuck them into my diaper bag for outings that require hushed entertainment. You can also buy more durable plastic pouches for long term use. It’s a good idea to rotate the contents of your busy bags so your kids don’t get bored with the same ones over and over.
Busy bags can be made for almost any age of child. For toddlers and preschoolers, you can include simple crafts, sewing cards, board books, and a variety of other things. For your older kids consider age appropriate books, coloring books or blank paper and colored pencils. If you search the internet for busy bag ideas you will find literally thousands of things you can try. You can also do more specialized searches for busy bags for church or other event-specific ideas.
Puzzles are an excellent way to quietly entertain kids of all ages. An age appropriate puzzle can keep kids from older toddlers to young teens busy for a reasonable amount of time. You can find puzzle apps on your phone or tablet for entertainment on the go. But if electronics are not part of your quiet Sunday, search for travel puzzles or foam puzzles, which typically have fewer pieces and don’t make noise. In addition to keeping kids occupied and hushed, puzzles are also great for development!
3. Erasable and Portable Art
One of my daughter’s favorite toys is her Magna Doodle. She’s had it for a couple of years and still enjoys playing with it. If you’re not familiar with this toy, it’s an erasable drawing and writing surface. The pen is attached to the unit with a string so there are no parts to lose if you take it on the go. We always keep it in the car for those times we need my daughter to be calm and quiet when we’re out and about.
The Magna Doodle isn’t the only fun toy in this category. An Etch-a-Sketch is another favorite. And there are also AquaDoodle mats and a variety of similar products to choose from. Even a dry erase board and pen can work well, especially for school age kids. If you take a look at the options, you are sure to find something your child will be able to quietly enjoy.
The best part is, these toys don’t make a mess. Usually, a minimal mess is a high priority when you’re at church or an appointment, or even at home trying to enjoy some quiet time on Sunday.
4. Fidget Toys
Fidget toys are designed for calming the restless, which is exactly what moms need when they’re trying to get through a quiet event with an antsy child. Typically they are small and handheld. And they are designed for busy hands to play around with while sitting still.
You’re probably familiar with stress balls, which are a well-known fidget toy. But there are many others. And there are toys available for all age groups, from young children to adults. If you do an internet search for fidget toys, you can find something your little one is sure to like. Or you can consider making your own.
5. Classic Quiet Toys
If you think back to your own childhood, before there was an app or Ipad available to keep you entertained when your parents needed you to play quietly, you will probably remember some old favorites that will be perfect to introduce to your own children.
A couple of great examples I remember fondly and my daughter now enjoys includes paper dolls, a Viewmaster, and reusable stickers. I called the reusable stickers colorforms when I was young. Repackaged as reusable stickers today, they are still just as much fun.
Quiet Time on Sunday and Beyond
All of these activities are quiet and can be taken on the go to a church service or other quiet event without fear of disturbing the people around you unduly. They are also great options for quiet play at home when you need a peaceful Sunday afternoon. Your child may enjoy them so much they play with them at other times, giving you some bonus peace and quiet on Sundays and even other days during the week.