April 13, 2015 by 2princessees
When Big E was about two years old, we went on a weekend trip to Cincinnati. While we were there we visited the zoo, a fun train museum, and IKEA among other things. We had a few toys and coloring books that we brought along. We also bought a chalkboard and we let her bring it into the hotel room. We noticed at the end of these busy days, that she just wanted to play alone to decompress. She needed that time.
The Need for Alone Time
Fast forward a couple of years to kindergarten. We quickly noticed there would be no productive work done right after school. At first, we would just play outside and ride bikes until it was time to come in and make dinner. Playing outside was enough to let off steam, and then we could do productive things later. When it got cold, playing outside wasn’t always and option…and let’s face it: Mom doesn’t play in the cold. I become a hermit in the winter. I thought about that trip we took when Big E was younger, and realized the need for alone time. I didn’t want it to be time on the ipad or computer. While I do think that time is important and can be beneficial, I don’t want my kids to spend hours and hours in front a screen.
We implemented alone time. Alone time is pretty much how it sounds, and everyone needs it. At our house, alone time means Little E plays, reads, or sleeps in the bedroom which the girls share. Big E plays or reads in the playroom, and I work on projects for Princess Ee’s. Everyone has their own space can do what they need to do without interruptions. This is a scheduled part of our day, and everyone needs it. Here are a few links to articles that discuss alone time:
- 6 Reasons You Should Spend More Time Alone
- 6 Benefits of Alone Time
- Why Alone Time is so Important for Boys and Girls
- 4 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Play Alone
Alone Time Activities
During alone time, the main focus is to spend time alone. My kids look at or read books or play with their toys during this time. Sometimes throwing something new into the mix makes alone time go a little smoother. You know, because new toys are always better than what you already have. I have a board on Pinterest dedicated to quiet activities, so I can find them when the kids need something new. Click here to see the board. There are tons of tips on how to build quiet boxes and how to put things you already have into boxes just for alone time. Sometimes are alone time is more structured with the busy boxes or activities, and other times it is just free play alone. I never know what I will find when I check in on the little princesses…
As a disclaimer, I should add: Since we do our alone time in separate rooms (ie: I’m not always in the room), there are some activities that are not suitable for all kids. We don’t allow our kids to have crayons, markers, scissors, or long strings when they aren’t being closely watched. Let’s just say we learned from experience…
Luckily, the magic eraser takes crayon off of walls…it doesn’t take ink pen off though! The picture of the huge mess happened before we started limited access to everything. If kids have access to it, you might find that is ALL out at the same time! Finally, Big E decided that he didn’t want her hair in her face anymore, so she though she would cut it shorter.
If the kids want to do play-doh, kinetic sand, or cutting/gluing activities, they can have alone time in the kitchen where it can be a little more supervised and easier to clean up. The goal is not to be trapped in a room for a while, it’s to have time alone to decompress and do what you need to do.
What have you found that works for your kids? Do you find that your kids need that time? Do you need that time?