My kids have had ninety minutes of quiet time each afternoon after lunch, ever since they gave up their naps, around 4 years old. It helps them unwind from the morning and re-energize for the rest of the day. And it gives me time to put my feet up, read a book, and catch a quick cat-nap before diving into the rest of the day. I believe that a short time to be quiet and still is essential for most people, and is especially important for little people whose brains are going non-stop all day long. When they don't get their quiet time, they are irritable later in the day, even at 7 and 6 years old!
They stay in separate rooms during quiet time. When they were younger, they were required to stay in one place (like the couch) and look at books or draw. But now that they are older they can do whatever they want as long as it is quiet. Usually they just sit and read books or build with Legos. But sometimes they use their time to create something really cool.
This game using straws, Monopoly pieces, and a random game spinner. (Tommy)
This monument built using game pieces. (Tommy)
This Etch-a-Sketch art. (Ben)
This domino rally. (Tommy)
This train city. (Ben)
Um, say what? I had to pause a bit at this one. Then I realized that he'd copied the words from a playbook advertisement he found. (Tommy)
This 20 foot long rally car race course, for Hot Wheels. (Tommy)
This is by far, the most impressive quiet time stunt: a table for 12 set up for Easter dinner. It happened to be a few days before Easter, and never mind that we weren't even hosting Easter dinner. He put in the extra leaves in the table, set up the chairs, put on the tablecloth. Everything. I was stunned when I walked in the room and saw it. (Tommy)
Check out this centerpiece, one of three.