Quiet Coyote: How and When to Use it

Loud noises can scare young children and disrupt their development. Yelling is one of those loud noises that can interfere with a child’s ability to learn, communicate, and develop properly. Instead of loudly telling children to quiet down, the quiet coyote hand signal is perfect for getting young children to calm down.

The hand signal quiet coyote is a simple way to help calm and soothe young children in noisy environments. To use the hand signal quiet coyote, put your two middle fingers together and touch them to your thumb. This creates “ears” with your pointer finger and pinky. The “closed mouth coyote” made with your middle fingers and thumb signal quiet down. The hand signal helps get the child’s attention and reminds them it is time to be quiet and calm down.

What Does the Quiet Coyote Hand Signal Mean?

The hand signal has no meaning, making it valuable for childhood development. It can signify a quiet time when using the “closed mouth coyote” or mean that children are being too loud with the “open mouth coyote.”

You can also use it to communicate that noise needs to stop or make its way down to a more appropriate level.

Who Can Use the Quiet Coyote Hand Signal?

Anyone can use the hand signal quiet coyote to signify that children need to stop making noise or be more hushed. It is typically used in kindergarten and elementary schools since non-verbal cues can be more accessible for young children. However, it did get some criticism from parents and school officials for teaching children an inappropriate hand signal.

Why are Non-verbal cues better for children?

Young children have a hard time expressing themselves verbally. The lack of language development can cause them to have meltdowns or anxiety when communicating with adults.

Non-verbal cues are great for young children to give them a tool to express what they want and need without other distractions.  

How does the Quiet Coyote Signal give kids more responsibility?

When you use a non-verbal hand signal, it gives kids a chance to figure out what they need to do for themselves. It is much easier for them to calm down and concentrate by giving them this task rather than having an adult tell them precisely what to do.

Why are some people against using the hand signal?

Some parents and school officials believe that the quiet coyote hand signal is too similar to other hand gestures: “the finger” and the gray wolf salute. 

Although it is not sure where the sign for “silence” originated, some feel that giving children an adult gesture can lead to other destructive behaviors.

Is the quiet coyote the same as the grey wolves salute?

The gray wolf’s salute is a gesture that two wolves show rank and dominance.

Although the hand signal quiet coyote and the grey wolf’s salute look very similar, they do not mean anything. The quiet coyote has no meaning on its own, while the grey wolf’s salute can be used as a threat or to show that you outrank another wolf.

Why is the Quiet Coyote Signal important?

Quiet coyote hand signals are necessary because they give young children the opportunity to learn how to calm themselves down. The non-verbal cues can help them develop communication skills without disrupting their development, which every parent wants for their child.

Tips for introducing the quiet coyote signal:

  • explain the hand gesture
  • have a lesson about coyotes
  • Lead by example when teaching the signal
  • give kids positive reinforcement for using it
  • present the quiet coyote hand gesture at school before taking it home with them
  • practice
  • let parents know you are using this sign as a way to quiet down

FAQ’s about Quiet Coyote

1. How can I use the quiet coyote signal for my benefit?

You can use the hand signal quiet coyote as a non-verbal cue to encourage the people around you to be more peaceful and pay more attention. This is especially helpful for teachers who need their class’s attention right away.

For example, if you are trying to read a book aloud at a library reading session and children are talking loudly around you, use the quiet coyote gesture to get their attention and be calmer.

2. Why is the hand signal quiet coyote effective?

The hand signal quiet coyote gets children’s attention in a way that does not disrupt their learning or development. Teachers often use this hand gesture to keep the noise down in rooms full of young kids. Parents can use the quiet coyote during playdates to encourage their children to clean up or just be quiet.

3. Are there any Alternatives to Quiet Coyote?

There are a number of signals or sayings you can use instead of the hand signal of the quiet coyote. As long as you teach the signal and what it means all of the following methods can be very useful. Another easy way to get a child’s attention is using a phrase that they need to complete or repeat. 

Quiet Coyote Alternatives

  • fingers on lips- tap your finger to your lips to signal to be quiet.
  • hands-on top of the head- everyone copies putting their hands on their head when they are ready to listen
  • alligator jaws- use your hands or arms to signal a closing alligator mouth to signal to be quiet. 
  • saying “be quiet” in a loud voice
  • rhythmic clapping- this can be used first to get the attention and then use the hands-on top of the head to signal to be quiet
  • turn lights on and off- easily gets everyone’s attention while being calm
  • Use a special sound like bells, wind chimes, triangles, etc. 


Quiet coyote hand signals are an excellent way for young children to learn self-soothing techniques in noisy environments. They can be used in school, at home, or anywhere else where children need to calm themselves down in a loud setting.

It is important to remember that when using the quiet coyote hand signal, you should be aware of your surroundings and not use it in a way that will disrupt others.

The quiet coyote hand signal can be used in many different ways. You can use it for any situation that requires increased silence and calming, making it the perfect tool in many cases with children.