20 Quiet Games for Rowdy Kids

Give your kids fun (and quiet!) games for when you need a little peace time, mama!

Calming down loud and excited kids is a challenge (especially in public!). In the moment, it can leave us frantic or anxious.

Toddlers in particular don’t really grasp the need for quiet time – no matter how much we beg. 🙂

All of us moms have been there!  

Make sure you’re prepared for those times, mama! Resorting to your closet or bathroom to hide it out may seem like the only way to get a little quiet. But there’s hope!

My twins are six now and I’m always on the lookout for games and little projects or activities that will hold their attention.

It’s a good feeling to have some other options to keep your child quiet and entertained besides sticking them in front of the television or letting them play games on your phone.

Here are 20 quiet games for your rowdy little child.

Quiet Games for Rowdy Kids

Let’s look at quite games for toddlers first and then look at quiet games for kids that are older.

Toddler Quiet Games

1. Busy bags

Toddlers can only sit still for so long (but you know that!). That’s why it’s a good idea to make a busy bag to keep on hand whether you’re in the car, on the plane, in the doctor’s office, or at home.

It’s basically a portable activity kit! The best part is that you can customize it to fit your child’s likes and interests. You can include puzzles, coloring sheets, educational activities, or books.

If your child no longer seems interested in the games, simply swap them out for new activities!

2. Sorting Pom Poms

Let your child practice recognizing and sorting colors using mini pom poms!

Write the name of the color on a piece of foam that matches the pom pom colors you’ll be using. Then let your kiddo practice sorting them by color and matching the pom poms to the foam paper.

3. Sensory Bottles

These are kind of like snow globes, only better because you can actually let your child play them!

They’re easy to make and a very inexpensive way to keep your little one occupied.

Choose any theme you want and add cute little floaties like confetti glitter, pom poms or wiggle eyes.

Your toddler will enjoy watching all the items you put in slowly fall to the bottom as they shake and swish the bottle. This is a great wind down activity.

4. Threading Station

Ever made cereal necklaces in preschool? Those were super fun, weren’t they? This is similar, but instead of using cereal, you use cut up straws and pipecleaners.

Combine both into a storage bin and your toddler will have a great time streaming them through.

This simple threading station doesn’t require much cleanup.

5. Build Sponge Towers

Sponge towers might be a more entertaining version of Jenga for your little one. Building is a ton of fun. The texture of the sponges just make the “blocks” all the more fun to play with!

Take some ordinary clean household sponges of different colors and cut them up into block shapes. Cut a few of them up into other shapes as well (like triangles or diamonds) and let your child build and play with them!

6. Vehicle Matching Puzzles

Let your child quietly explore the world of transportation with this set of 15 self-correcting puzzle sets. Each puzzle has two pieces that fit together and presents a different mode of transportation.

7. Mail Play

Been trying to teach your little one the ABCs? Some children are fast learners while others need a bit more time.

Mail play is a fun and quiet game that teaches your child to begin to recognize uppercase letters from lowercase letters and when to use them together!

8. Lacing Shoe Cards

Games that are fun and educational are so delightful, aren’t they?!

If your child is struggling to understand how to tie their shoes, try this game so it doesn’t feel like a chore, mama!

Toddlers enjoy games that take focus and hand-eye coordination.

9. DIY Puppet Projects

Puppets are a really fun quiet craft project. There are dozens of ways to make puppets! Your toddler can choose from a large selection of crafts to bring their puppet to life.

They can be played with when finished, so really…they’re making their own toy!

Then let them put on a little puppet show for you. 🙂

School Age Kid Quiet Games

10. The Masterpiece

Encourage creativity, mama! This game requires more than one participant, but it’s quiet and so much fun!

To start, get a blank sheet of paper (a white board will work too). You can tape the paper to the wall or pass it around for each players turn.

The first player draws a shape of their choice (such as a circle, triangle, or squiggly line). Then, the next player adds another shape to the one previously drawn.

For example, the first player could draw a circle, and the second player decides to draw the body of a car around the circle in a way that it’s obvious the circle has become a wheel.

This game brings out creativity and is even more fun when you use colored pencils, markers, magazine images (which you can pre-cut), or other fun craft supplies.

11. Animal Crafting Sewing Kit

Sewing is a great skill to add to your child’s repertoire. Learning to sew is fun and requires creativity. This activity would also make a great addition to your child’s keepsake box of their firsts.

This is a great activity for one child or multiple children and is recommended for children between the ages of 6 and 14.

This kit is great for beginners and includes one felt cat, dinosaur, lion, and elephant. Each animal figure comes with a plastic needle and thread.

12. Marshmallow Building Towers

Building marshmallow towers will bring out the true craftiness in your child.

You only need two items: a bag of marshmallows and some cut up straws. I wouldn’t recommend using toothpicks since they’re a safety hazard. When you cut the straws, cut them at an angle so there is some sharpness at the tip for it to pierce into the marshmallow.

For extra fun, try setting a timer to see what your child can build within a certain number of minutes.

This is a great game for groups. You can also do building contests, have judges, and win prizes!

13. Smell Sensory Guessing Game

Capture and preserve the smell of different foods, nature, or products for your child to guess what it is!

Make sure to put the contents into jars or bags so the guesser is unable to tell what’s inside.

Here’s a few ideas:

  • Dirt
  • An orange
  • Peppermint
  • Coffee
  • Flowers
  • Shampoo
  • A diaper (clean of course!)

Or to get even more creative, test out their sense of touch in the same way! You can use simple items you have around your house. What a great way to get your child thinking and better at using descriptive words.

14. Boggle Junior

Boggle is mostly a quiet game…and very educational! It’s designed for ages 3 and up and perfect for early readers. Boggle contains 3 and 4 letter words.

Start by making sure all of the picture cards are facing the same direction and facing forward in the card tray.

During each players turn, point to the picture on the card and allow the child to say the same of the picture. Below each picture, you’ll find the word spelled out. Point to each letter in the word and allow the player to say each letter as well as the sound it makes. Once the player has said the sounds for each letter, slowly combine all the letter sounds to form the sound of the entire word.

Make sure each player is saying the words and sounds out loud. You can lay aside the words they struggle with to practice later.

Use the letter cubes to practice forming the words on the cards. After each players turn, place each card face down.

Your child can either play this game with friends and family or solo. Either way, it’s a fun way to learn new words and practice word and letter recognition.

15. Fashion Portfolio Sketchbook

Does your girl get excited over fashion and love playing dress up? She’ll love this fun fashion book.  This sketchbook includes several stencils as well as accessory stickers.

It comes with over 100 fashion and accessory shapes to design her very own fashion model. This is a perfect activity to take on the go. There’s no mess involved and it can easily be taken out and put away in a matter of seconds.

16. Telephone

I’ll bet you remember playing this game as a child yourself, huh? It’s been around for a long time.

It’s usually played in a community group setting like school or camp. But you can also incorporate this game for kids at sleepovers or just around the house (as long as you have multiple children).

To play, gather the children to sit in a large circle so that their knees are close to touching. Choose someone to start the game off. That person has to come up with a word or phrase of their choice.

The starter person needs to whisper that word or phrase to the player either to the right or the left of them. Then that player turns to whisper that same word or phrase to their neighbor. All players should be whispering the word or phrase to their neighbor quietly in their ear.

By the end, all players should have heard the word or phrase from their neighbor. To close the game, the last one to hear needs to say the word or phrase out loud for everyone to hear.

Rarely is the ending word or phrase the same as the original. But that’s what makes this game fun!

No one player wins, but the whole group wins if the original word or saying was communicated clearly to all players and by the end is the same.

The only noisy part about this game is at the end when everyone bursts out laughing at what they heard, (or thought they heard).

17. Photographic Memory Game

Some kids are naturally very good at these types of games (or shall we say…exercises!).

And it’s the perfect quite game for those rowdy kids!

Here’s how you play:

  1. Sit all children in a circle and give each child a pencil and paper.
  2. Give each child 30 seconds to look at the photo to carefully study it.
  3. Take the photo away and give the children one minute to draw as many items in the photo as they remember. 
  4. The child that draws the most items that were found in the photo wins the game!

18. Face Painting

This is only recommended for older children. It wouldn’t take long for you to regret giving face paints to your toddler!

If you’ve really got an artist on your hands, give them a variety of new ideas! That should satisfy their creative streak. 🙂

19. Silent Conversations

This game is exactly as it sounds. Children can carry on conversations without saying a word!

This works great in pairs of two.

Just give each player a piece of paper and a pen. Let one child start by writing something on the paper to start the conversation and then passing it to the other child or children.

For instance, the first line could say something like, “ How was your day today?” or “Are you coming to my birthday party on Saturday?”. Then the other players can respond to continue the conversation.

Since the conversation is freestyle, there’s no specified time when it has to end. No one “wins” this game, but it sure is quiet!

20. Legos

Legos just don’t get old. Never mind that they’ve been around forever! Girls and boys alike can enjoy free lego play with no guidance from you at all.

And it’s one of the few times my twins are quite for a long time!

My twins playing lego.

Just make sure they are age-appropriate for your child before letting them have at it.

Bonus: Print Up Free Coloring Pages

Coloring is a staple at our house. And with so many options on Pinterest and Google you can’t go wrong.

Check out these free coloring pages from Smart Mom Ideas:

Get Your Quiet Time and Enjoy It!

There you have it! 20 games to keep your child quiet for at least a little while. Buy yourself some quiet time in public as well as at home with these simple activities.

No more telling your kiddo to go color until dinner is ready or find “something” to do for 20 minutes until dinner is ready. And to tell you the truth, what is a child to do?! Their nature is to explore, be energetic, and yes, tear things apart!

Now you have an advantage when your child becomes loud, hyper, and needs some direction.

Over to you, mama! What quiet games have you found that hold your child’s attention? Share in the comments below.

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