What is blanket time? It is a survival technique I employ for that time of the day when we all need a break from each other (late afternoon for my family) particularly helpful for post-nap-age children. It is not an original idea; I heard about it from my sister-in-law, Abby, who heard about it from some lady somewhere whom I wish I could kiss square on the lips!
Here’s how it works: Each of my children have a blanket (blue nascar blanket from Gabrielle brothers; Hello Kitty for Mag.) that they spread on the floor in different rooms of the house. They each bring something to play with. This would include maybe legos, army men with blocks, puzzles, and adventure sets (I keep their adventure play sets in laundry baskets so they can carry them from room to room easily. Also, they are easier to clean up. If you’re wondering what I mean by adventure set: Imaginext castle, Fisher price Robin Hood tree house, Western Town, etc.) In other words, they need to choose something that can keep them entertained for a while. I usually give them a crumb-free snack (fruit snacks, grapes, apples, cheerios), a spill proof sports bottle with H2O or juice, and maybe put on music if it is available in the room they chose. Blanket time lasts about an hour, but you may want to start shorter. (a timer/ clock helps so they don’t keep asking, “is it over yet?”).
In case you are wondering, my children gave me trouble about this when I first instituted it. They still do grumble at times. But all in all, once they get playing, they enjoy being quiet and alone. And I can get dinner ready, organize the junk drawer, take a short nap, read, listen to a teaching tape, or whatever else I used to do during nap time.
Just thought I’d pass it on. Anybody else have a practical “survival” technique?