All parents and teachers need some quiet games that their kids can play. Most of the time, being quiet is not an easy task for little kids.
If you’re working from home or just need a moment alone, having games that your kids can play quietly keeps your kids quiet, entertained, and possibly learning as well.
That’s what we all want!
You will recognize many of these games; we played these in school growing up. Some of them are classics that all kids love to play, but sometimes, it’s easy to forget how effective and fun they really are.
Here are some games that your kids will love, even if they’re quiet games.
6 Quiet Games for Toddlers
Toddlers might not be able to play the same quiet games as older kids, but they need activities that keep them quiet and busy.
Here are some toddler quiet games to keep on hand.
1. Color Sorting Blocks, Pom-Poms, or Muffin Tins
Color sorting is a great way to help young ones learn and stay on stay on task during an activity.
Pom-poms are a versatile and cheap item to keep on hand. You may also have the large Mega Bloks which are an awesome toy that all kids love!
Grab a piece of foam or construction paper that matches the Mega Bloks or pom-pom colors. Then, have your toddler practice sorting them by color and matching to the foam or construction paper.
You can also use a muffin tin for small items (like the pom poms). Simply tape a piece of colored paper in the circle and you’re good to go! For more information about this activity, go to my post about Color Sorting with Muffin Tins here.
You may just have to go over this once or twice and they should understand the task.
Related: Pom Pom Tube Drop: Toddler Developmental Activity
2. Sensory Bottles
Sensory bottles are easy to make and inexpensive, and some people call them calm dow bottles. They keep toddlers and kids entertained; they focus on the objects inside of the sensory bottles as they move, suspended in the liquid.
Related: How to Make Simple DIY Glitter Sensory Bottles
3. Look at Busy Boards
Busy boards or busy bags are great to have on hand, especially when you’re traveling or heading to the doctor’s office. They’re like a portable activity kit, and you can customize them to fit your toddler’s interests.
Related: 15 Toddler Busy Board Ideas Your Child Will Love!
4. Stack with Sponges
Stacking with blocks is not quiet, but sponge towers are a quiet way to build. Their texture makes them fun to play with, and you can even cut them into different shapes.
Give them to your kids to enjoy and build.
5. Threading with Cereal
Do you remember making cereal necklaces? I made them in elementary school, and this activity is great for toddlers, but I suggest using strayers or pipe cleaners.
Create a little threading station with cereal and the pipe cleaners inside a plastic box to keep everything contained.
Here is a great idea from Fun Learning for Kids.
6. Lacing Cards
Grab some lacing cards; these are portable and keep your toddlers entertained. Plus, they take focus and hand-eye coordination to learn how to use properly.
They may be more age appropriate for older toddlers- age 3 and up.
16 Quiet Games for Kids
The following quiet games are great for kids of all ages, from preschool and up.
1. The Quiet Game
Let’s start with the quintessential quiet game – The Quiet Game! You’ll find dozens of variations to this game, and you can play it wherever you are – the car, a restaurant, a family party – whatever the situation is.
This game is always a hit.
Start by simply seeing who can be quiet the longest. Inevitably, you’ll have some giggling happening, but the kids try to be quiet.
Another version is played in a circle with other kids, and you pick the quietest kid. They walk around the circle and tap on the quietest kids’ head before taking their spot in the circle. Then, the next quietest kid walks around and taps the next quietest person.
2. The Telephone Game
I remember playing the Telephone Game at a leadership conference to show how, even with the right intentions, things are misconstrued along the way. However, you may not have thought about using it as one of your quiet games.
Everyone sits in a circle, and the starting person tells a phrase into the person’s ear beside them. Then, that person whispers it to the next person.
The important rule is that you cannot repeat the phrase, so the person who is receiving the message has to listen! At the end, the last person says the phrase out loud to see what the phrase became.
3. Heads Up, Seven Up
Growing up, I always looked forward to playing heads up, seven up. When teachers said we had a few minutes to play, it was the best, but you’ll need a larger group to play or try to adapt it for your family.
If you’ve never played this, you’re missing out.
The original game is when all the players put their heads down with their thumbs up. Seven people walk around and tap on seven players. The people who are tapped have to guess which one of the tappers tapped them.
If you guess right, your tapper sits down and you take their place.
In your family, try doing two or three tappers and the rest put their heads down!
4. Quiet Animal
All you need is a stuffed animal for this simple game. The kids sit in a circle and give the animal to the quietest person. Then, that kid picks the next person to give the animal to – but they have to be quiet to get it!
If they drop the stuffed animal, talk, or throw it, the kid is out of the game.
The name might be a bit morbid, but what is more quiet than dead people and a graveyard?
Have all the kids lay on the ground, close their eyes, and don’t move – like a dead person. One person has to stay up and let the players know if they’re out; they’re out when they move or speak.
6. Silent Ball
Grab a small ball, stuffed animal, or a rolled up sock, and have your kids stand in a circle. One kid throws the ball or item to another in silence. If they don’t catch it, the catcher sits, but if it’s a badly thrown item, the thrower sits.
The kid who catches the ball throws it to another person in the circle, and it all has to be done in silence. Anyone who talks has to sit own, and the winner is the last person standing.
7. Thumb Wrestling
I remember playing thumb wrestling when I was young; it was a fun game for long car rides.
Both kids have to grab the other child’s fingertips and clash tight. Then, say “one, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war.”
The wrestling begins, and the first kid to hold down the other’s thumb for a count of 3 seconds wins.
8. Rock, Paper, Scissors
Everyone knows how to play this game! Once your kids know how to play it out loud, it’s possible to play it silently as well.
Remember, scissors beat paper, paper beats rock, and rock beats scissors.
9. Be a Statue
This is one of those quiet games you know will have your kids rolling with laughter at some point.
Call out a statue you want your kids to be, perhaps a monkey or a policeman, or a tiger! After you count to three, the kids have to freeze and be the statue.
The game continues; if the statue falls or talks, they’re out. You pick a new statute, and the game repeats.
10. Cotton Ball Race
Grab some cotton balls, straws, and masking tape. Use the tape to create a race course with a finish line and a starting line. Put your cotton ball on the starting line and the players have to blow through the straws to move the cotton ball towards the finish line.
The first kid who gets their cotton ball across the line wins!
If you have a bottle of bubbles in your bag, you have an easy quiet game to play. Seriously, just let your kids play with bubbles and tell them they need to do so quietly.
Try keeping a variety of bubble wands with you for added interest!
12. Silent Monkey See, Monkey Do
It might be impossible to play this without laughing.
One of the kids looks at the other children and makes silent, silly actions. All of the other kids have to copy them without laughing. Make sure to switch up the monkeys to keep it going.
If you laugh, you’re out!
Grab some paper and pencils; you can play tic-tac-toe anywhere and in any given moment. Your preschoolers may not be able to play the game well, but older kids will, and it’s easy to play this for quite awhile.
14. Quiet Checkers
Checkers is a classic board game, and you can turn this into a quiet game by playing without speaking. If someone speaks, they lose a turn!
15. Oreo Challenge
Every kid loves the Oreo challenge, but you can use any cookies. Kids sit in a circle with their head back, looking up at the ceiling. Then, the leader of the challenge puts an Oreo on each child’s forehead.
Next, the child has to try to get the cookie into their mouth without using their hands.
16. Mystery Socks
Here’s one of the silly quiet games. Pick five to ten socks and hide one object in each sock. Then, each kid feels the socks without peeking.
Give each sock a number and let your kids pick a number. Then they have to guess what the hidden object is inside of the sock.
Jigsaw puzzles are definitely quiet games that can keep kids of all ages busy. There are so many puzzle designs to choose from and with various numbers of pieces, you’re sure to find a puzzle that suits any child’s level.
In addition, for older children, it’s possible to play jigsaw puzzles online at Im-a-puzzle.com. This website has thousands of free puzzles to choose from, including categories like holidays, animals, kids, and sports.
You can even upload your own virtual jigsaw puzzle to the site so that others can play when you share the link.
Try these quiet games whenever you need your kids to settle down, whether that is during a phone call, a meeting, or anything else. Kids are happiest and quietest when they’re entertained!