If you were paying attention on my daily schedule for toddlers and preschoolers, you might have seen blanket time on there.
Which might have got you to wondering, what is blanket time?
Maybe you have images in your mind of Linus from Charlie Brown, holding his blanket and carrying it everywhere he goes.
That is not what I mean by blanket time.
In a nutshell; blanket time for toddlers is a simple way to get your little ones to learn the discipline of sitting still.
Sitting still doesn’t come naturally to toddlers (or anyone else for that matter, I want to move around as much as the next person), it is a skill that they have to learn and develop. Much like other skills and manners, this one takes time and effort to teach and train.
How to Start Blanket Time for Toddlers
Starting off is fairly simple. We started when Gracie was 2 and a half, which was really, a little late. Benjamin was 11 months. I have read that people suggest starting even earlier, but I can’t give you personal experience in that.
Each child got their own blanket, which I set out on the floor in front of them. I then surrounded them with their favorite toys. I explained to them that we were going to be starting blanket time, which means that they sit on their blanket and play with their toys. They are not allowed to get off their blanket and they need to refrain from talking to me, as much as possible.
We started off with only two minutes, then slowly, we increased the time. It looked something like this:
Day 1 – 2 minutes
Day 2 – 4 minutes
Day 3 – 5 minutes
Day 4 – 7 minutes
Day 5 – 10 minutes
Day 6 – 10 minutes
And so on. You will see that day 5 and 6 had the same time on there. That is because, my kids were done. I don’t want it to become something they dread, so I am okay with lowering the time on occasion. Also, I have noticed that the time of day that we do this makes a difference. If we do this right before dinnertime..it is a DISASTER! If we do this immediately after breakfast, they can usually go for about 30 minutes now.
In the beginning, I sat on the floor with them and redirected them if they got off their blanket. Now, I can sit on the couch or walk around and do chores while they have blanket time.
Here is the thing that shocked me the most about our blanket time, our kids LOVE it. They look forward to it and would you believe, they even ask for it? My two year old, asks for it by name, “Mommy, can we have blanket time?” My 1 year old, however, can’t talk yet and will just go grab his blanket and drag it to the floor to sit on.
This has been such a great skill for our kids to learn, they have learned how to entertain themselves and have self control to sit for long (30 minutes IS long to a toddler) periods of time.
Have you heard of blanket time? Did you ever do it with your little ones?
Did you catch this post with a week unit lesson plan? It was such a fun way to teach obedience to the little ones!