Blanket Time!


In the Duggar book that I read, I decided to try out "Blanket Time". I was skeptical, but now that we have "practiced" a few times it's pretty nice and I think Cai is practicing some good qualities.
What is Blanket time, you ask!?

Well, if you don't know, like me... then, it is a time you declare for your child to sit on their blanket and quietly play.

Why in the world would you do this, you ask!? 
Well, have you been around a toddler recently? Do they ever sit still for longer than two seconds? No! Teaching your child to sit on their blanket teaches them qualities (or fruits of the Spirit), like patience and self-control. These qualities come in handy in places where a child may need to sit with you for awhile (like church). If you think it is weird...just think about how a preschool child at preschool has to sit on the BIG RUG and learn to listen to the teacher or have "quiet time" on their carpet square... it's not really a new thing and most preschools teach this. We just are trying it at home! It also helps when you have more than one child. If you have to nurse the baby, yet have a toddler, apparently doing this can help get through those rougher times.

How do you do this, you ask!? 
According to Michelle Duggar, the first time you do it you should get REALLY EXCITED declaring it is BLANKET TIME!!! YAY!!!! Watch the clock or set a timer for 5 minutes. Have your child sit on their blanket and try to get them to focus on your voice. Explain how Blanket time works (even to a very young child like my 15 month old). They may sit on the blanket and by doing so they are obeying mommy. Really encourage them throughout the entire 5 minutes and "cheer" them on for being so obedient! When they try to get up to get off the blanket, gently correct them, but get more stern and less playful with corrections that follow. Afterwards, tell them how great of a job they have done and then give them a TREAT! Gradually increase the time, practicing at least 2 x a day. After they can do that for 5 minutes, then introduce a toy to play with. If they throw the toy off the blanket, they do not get it back.

I decided to try this with Cai and he learned SO FAST how to obey me with Blanket time! I was seriously impressed. By the end of the first 5 minutes, he didn't try to get off the blanket, he just sat and sucked his thumb and listened to me.

So, I did it again in the afternoon and decided to introduce the toy. The idea is that this helps you to keep your child close and they don't just wander off, like when you are making dinner or cleaning up some lunch dishes. I have used it when I am making his lunch or cleaning up breakfast/lunch dishes, primarily when I am in the kitchen close by him to encourage him, correct him if he tries to get up, or help him get re-engaged with his toy he is playing with.

However, I will be honest. I don't have this all figured out. I have run into a couple of problems.

1)Cai now thinks every time he gets to sit on his blanket he automatically gets a treat!
2)He still gets mad and will throw off his toys occasionally and then really! what am I supposed to do, but let him sit maybe another minute, but wrap up blanket time since he can't get the toy back after he throws it off the blanket!
3)I have no idea what age is appropriate to introduce this, but I'm surprised at how well he sits on his blanket and plays.

I also will be honest, that I love starting things like this and independent play or some other 'structured' thing... but I bet if you ask me if I am doing this in a couple could be possible that I left it in the dust! Maybe I need to have my OWN blanket time! ha!

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