Kid’s love high-energy, noisy games -- often the louder the better -- but sometimes, Mommy just need some peace and quiet. Whether you need your tot to be quiet in a waiting room, are calming her down before bedtime, or just need a moment to hear yourself think, whispering games are a fun way to engage your youngster in some quiet play. Who knew being quiet could be so much fun?
If You Can Hear Me
Start out in a normal speaking voice saying, “If you can hear me, touch your nose.” Continue saying action phrases while gradually lowering your voice to the quietest of whispers. Your little one will have to listen very carefully so as not to miss the command phrase. Play this game one-on-one with your tot or with a rowdy group of little ones to get their attention.
If you have more than one tot to wrangle, try playing the telephone game. Have the youngsters sit in a circle or a line and begin by whispering a short phrase into the first child’s ear. Keep it simple like, “The cat with orange spots is sleeping on the rug.” The children then whisper down the line repeating the same phrase to one another. When the last child has gotten the message, he announces aloud what phrase he heard. Often times, the message changes slightly so the final sentence may be, “The cat with orange socks is sitting on a bug.”
Quiet as a Mouse
Learn the following poem with your child: “I am very quiet. I am quiet as a mouse, you can hardly ever hear me, as I move around the house. As I walk on tippy toes, you’ll have to look and see, that this quiet little mouse, is really just me.” Practice walking around the house with your toddler quietly, on tippy toes, to perfect her mouse walk; be sure to praise her for a job well done. The next time you are at the doctor’s office, library or other place that needs a quiet youngster, you can play quiet as a mouse with her. For added fun, you can also pretend to be other animals by being loud as an elephant, silent as a sloth, or playful as a puppy -- just be sure you are the one choosing the animals when quiet counts!
The statue game is the perfect game to play while standing in a long checkout lane, or just hanging out at home. Have your child strike a pose by saying, “Pretend you are playing soccer” your little one then has to hold a position that makes him look like a soccer player. He must freeze as still as a statue until you say, “Unfreeze” or give him another pose to take like, “Pretend you are playing piano.” Be clear with the rules that, like a statue, he can neither move nor talk during the game.
I Hear with My Little Ear
For a fun take on the childhood favorite “I Spy,” have your toddler close her eyes and listen very carefully as you describe a background noise. Say, “I hear with my little ear, a clanking noise.” Your child then guesses what you are hearing; continue to give one clue at a time until she correctly guesses,“You hear the dryer running!” Take turns being the guesser and the listener and be sure to whisper your clues, to keep the mood quiet.
To begin teaching your little one about how to behave in public places, talk about a quiet place in contrast to a noisy place, then have your toddler demonstrate how to behave in each situation. Say, “The library is a quiet place -- how do we act in the library?” and praise your youngster when she pretends to look at a book quietly. Then say,“The beach is a noisy place -- how do we act at the beach?” and be equally happy when she pretends to run and splash in the water. Practice the quiet places at home before you leave, and then remind your little one as you are walking to the door that she needs to act just like you practiced.