Friday, February 3, 2012

The Quiet Basket and Blanket Time

Here is an old post, worth re visiting.

I don't know about you, but our children are not naturally quiet.
  Therefore, I must take time to teach them to play quietly, a skill that comes in very handy.

Our little ones sit in church with us, and those under 5 yrs old are allowed to entertain themselves,
whereas the older children are expected to listen and take notes, sing, and sit still. 
Also, there are times, like conferences, doctors offices, etc,
that it is well worth my time to have instructed them in playing contentedly for some time. 

 I have constructed what we call the quiet basket, 
which is a basket weave hand bag
full of interesting and secret things that are for special times only.
Everything is oriented towards quiet/silent play. 
Since I have a variety of ages, I am always on the look out for new things to put in my basket. 
I have acquired most of the items at thrift shops, 
but the Learning Store and places like Timberdoodle have made some wonderful exceptions.
 If I have more than my basket can hold, that is great,
because I can shuffle in new items on occasion.
  The children are very intrigued,  and eager to discover what is in the basket, 
so they settle down with delight.
  The way we practice, is by bringing out the basket every once in a while,
like an evening when daddy is gone, and sit quietly on the floor,
possibly on a blanket, so there are boundaries.  
After everyone has sat still for  a few minutes, they are allowed to get an item out and play.

I am really looking forward to going to the Christian Heritage Home school Conference
in Seattle again this year. 
It has been a lot of fun stockpiling the quiet basket with new surprises for the conference.
  With little more than a month left before we head west
to enjoy Ken Ham and all the other great speakers,
I just have a few more things to add to the basket.  
Here are some items which our basket contains:  
Various activity and coloring books, 
chenille pipe cleaners,
lacing shapes,
magnetic puzzles,
small felt board, 
sticker books, 
children magazines, like Ranger Rick, Highlights, and Nature Friend.  
An MP3 with various audio books and kid music, like Go Fish!

We have always wanted our babies to sit quietly, on our lap, or on a blanket. 
Since we seem to produce wiggly/adhd type children, 
this meant that we blanket train the baby.  
How we did this was the same way we trained the puppy.  
A few minutes on the blanket at a time,
every day,
with incremental increases in the amount of time per day.  
Review is often necessary, especially when the baby starts being mobile.

When our first child was about a year old, we had a horse disaster,
which occupied both Brian and I for some time.  
We had carefully blanket trained John months before.
Now it would really pay off,
not to mention all the church services wherein he sat contentedly, as well as the dr. offices.
I was confident that he would not leave the blanket,
so I set John on a blanket under a tree within view, and cared for the injured horse.  
He never left the blanket, and the horse was tended to and eventually mended, 
meanwhile the toddler was safe and content. 

Since then, I have always thought it a most necessary training,
being the preparedness minded mama that I am. 

I have never considered it anything other than time well spent.


  1. This is a great idea.. I've never commented before but I wanted to say that I really enjoy your posts... Do you always attend the conference? I see there is one in April in Seattle and I am thinking of trying to go this year. My family and I live in Forks WA so it wouldn't be too far of a drive. We'll see.. It sounds like it would be a great weekend :)

  2. I started training my youngest for blanket time, but at some point let it go. He turned 2 in December and I feel it would benefit all involved to try again. Any advise for a strong willed, very active two year old boy and his Momma? Great post. Thank you.


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