Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, Quiet Critters are the cutest learning tools that we’ve ever come across! These adorable colourful balls are nothing more than pom poms, googly eyes and felt feet but the magical powers they possess are amazing!
Here’s how you can make your own, either for your classroom if you’re a teacher, or for your own kids. We also love them as a Teacher’s Gift as well as a homeschooling tool too. Minimal craft expertise is required too.
How Quiet Critters work
Quiet Critters have a similar concept to the Elf on the Shelf. Their magical presence acts as a learning tool for children. Elf is meant to ensure kids behave around Christmas time. Quiet Critters are designed to assist kids in remaining quiet and focused.
We first were introduced to Quiet Critters by Denise at Teachers Pay Teachers where she makes Quiet Critter jar labels and explains what they are.
“Quiet Critters live in a soundproof jar and only come out when it’s quiet! Loud noises hurt their ears, but whispering is ok,” Denise explains.
Too much noise and the critters get frightened and will go back to the jar.
How it works in a school setting is that every student gets a Quiet Critter on their desk. Quiet Critters don’t like to be handled so it’s best if they just sit on their desks and watch the students work quietly.
If a student gets a bit too noisy or loses concentration, then the Quiet Critter may get frightened.
Here’s how Denise uses them in her classroom:
When I take them out of the jar I place them on the top left hand side of the desk. If the student is too loud or starts to play with them, the Quiet Critter gets moved to the other side of their desk as a reminder that they don’t like loud noises or to be played with. If they continue to be loud they go back into their jar.
At the end of the quiet lesson whoever still has a Quiet Critter on their desk can have points, a sticker, be first to go out to lunch, or whatever incentives you have in the room. Sometimes just having the Quiet Critter on their desk for that lesson is reward enough!”
Of course, there isn’t a right or wrong way when it comes to using Quiet Critters. Teachers will use these guys during ‘quiet activities’ such as silent reading or during an assessment. In some instances it might be a whole classroom thing so if one person is loud, then all the Critters get scared away. This removes the idea of ‘punishing’ a student and instead works on rewarding the entire classroom.
Using Quiet Critters at home
Now, I’m not a teacher but let me tell you, QUIET CRITTERS RULE at home too! Quiet time can be tricky for kids to master and these adorable little furry friends help our little ones practice this important school skill.
Quiet Critters can also be invaluable for parents who work from home when they are in a meeting and are silently praying that their toddler doesn’t decide to sing the Poo song in the background. Zoom meeting = Quiet Critters.
For primary students, Quiet Critters are great during their 10 minutes of daily reading or while they are working on homework. Basically, anytime children need to focus, concentrate and do a quiet activity, Quiet Critters can help them accomplish this.
I’ve also found these are great little tools to help my kids fall asleep at night, especially when they are bouncing off the walls. With a Critter next to them on their bedside table, they are much more inclined to calm down, remain quiet and try to go to sleep.
How to make Quiet Critters
There are plenty of Etsy stores that sell Quiet Critters as well as the Jar Labels but if you love a DIY craft project, then this one is a goodie!
You will need:
- A package of Pom Poms for the bodies
- A package of Googly eyes (different shapes and sizes are best)
- Pipe cleaners for antennas (if you’d like)
- Various pieces of felt for the feet and other embellishments
- Hot glue gun
- A clear jar
- A Quiet Critters label
Making these guys is really easy and fun.
- Simply attach googly eyes to the Pom Poms using a hot glue gun.
- Cut out little feet to attach to the bottom of the Pom Poms.
- Add pine cleaners for antennas or funny hats.
- Let your little critters dry before placing them back into the jar.
We hope you, your students and your children love these Critters as much as we do! Make sure you share them with any teachers you know!
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