A couple years ago, I heard a friend sharing about how her children do ‘blanket time’ when they are little. This time was for them to learn how to sit still, be content, and play safely while she did school with her older children (she has SEVEN).
I was very intrigued by this and asked several questions about how to appropriately and correctly implement it
When Sullivan was born and Mylin was just turning 2, I began implementing blanket time in the mornings while I nursed Sullivan. I needed Mylin to stay put so I knew she was safe, and this was a great opportunity for her to learn those sitting still qualities that all of us so strongly desire for our toddlers! She caught on right away and I never had any issues with her obedience. We’d pick out several books, lay out a blanket at my feet in the nursery, and she’d sit there and read (look at) the books until I said it was time to pick up. Heavenly.
In preparation for #3, we began implementing blanket time earlier this fall with Sullivan (and again with Mylin). My friend, Hannah, who taught me how to do blanket time, said that as soon as a child can come to you give you a five when you say ‘High Five!’, they have enough comprehension and obedience to sit still when told. This happens generally no earlier than 9 months, but almost always by 12 months. Our little man was regularly sitting still to eat snacks and could follow many other verbal commands, so we knew he was ready!
I found special new toys at a garage sale (score Melissa and Doug hand-me-down’s!) and those became their blanket time toys. These stay stored up and only come out during designated blanket time.
This is a wonderful time right now for Joel and I to do some quiet reading
And soon (like 8 weeks!!!), this will be the best tool to keep the kids happily occupied while I spend necessary one-on-one time with the baby!