I hear lots of moms tell me that they would love to work on their business if only they could find the time. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could “make” more time?
Some of the moms, I work with aren’t trying to start a business, but maybe just looking for a moment to drink a hot cup of coffee before it becomes cold, or get a shower without worrying about the kids terrorizing the house or each other. Or even just wanting to get the kids to not spend so much time in front of the tv.
So today, I’m going to give you my best kept secret technique for getting 30-60 minutes of peace and mostly quiet, just in time for the kids to be home for the summer. As a mom I hate having to tell my kids I’m too busy with work to play with them. But I do need to take care of my business as well, so avoiding the work won’t help my family either. Having the planned time that I know I can commit to my business or myself makes everyone happy. Total WIN-WIN.
Without further adieu, let me introduce you to The Quiet Box.
This is really a technique that I started years ago and you can absolutely customize the contents, the way you use it or even the name for that matter. I’ll give you some basics here, and feel free to head over to my Facebook page and check out the video I shared about how I revamped mine for the summer.
But first, here are a few tips. You don’t have to be quiet to use the quiet box. The idea is that it is an electronic free time so that’s really where the term comes from. In general the activities are a little quieter in nature, but kids are not required to be silent. The activities are simply the kind that kids generally like, but might not pick from their room.
Secondly, the kits, which I say are a combination of Easter basket, subscription box and busy bag have to be customized to your child. You want them to have items that the kids will like and that they will be willing to use, and EXCITED to use as well. Keep the box well stocked and rotate new items in and out so they don’t get bored. I shoot for 10-15 items, more than that usually turns them off and less feels like they aren’t getting enough choices. Your rotation should depend on how often the kids get the box and how long they keep it. For example, if they get it daily for 45 minutes, you’d want to change the toys more frequently than if they got it 3 times per week for 30 minutes.
Lastly, scarcity is the name of the game. The box is self, contained and away from the kids. That’s right, I keep mine in my bedroom, and replenishing supplies in the closet so it’s always a little bit of a secret. Set a timer, and announce the quiet box time so it’s fun and not a punishment when you turn off the tv. When they first get the box, if you’ve filled it right, they won’t want to put it away. That’s a great sign! But don’t let the box wear out it’s welcome, you want them to always want it.
How to stock your box
I like to start at home, sounds silly but it works. There are undoubtedly toys from birthdays or Christmas in your kids rooms, or under their beds that they have forgotten about. Pull those out and re-purpose them for the quiet box. If you know an older kid has outgrown it, give it to the younger sibling this year. I also add printables that I pull off of Pinterest for special coloring pages or fun activities.
Then I hit the neighborhood yard sale or Goodwill for cheap leftovers from other people’s toy boxes and closet corners. I’ve gotten great items like paper doll kits, crafts and more for pinnies.
When all else fails, or you want a little wow factor, hit your local dollar store or dollar section and you’ll find these kinds of things that will be sure to please.
Here’s a list of some items that I have put in our boxes before, that my kids seem to love. Let me know what your kids think of this idea in the comments below!