Nap time in the classroom

Nap time is typically a big problem in the classrooms. I have learned that the challenge really comes with the semantics of the word. Check out this post to help you out, then come back.

I'm not saying that just knowing that will help. However, doesn't it help a bit? Change Nap time to Rest time. It's not a time when they have to go to sleep; it's a time that they have to relax. As they leave the lunch table and go to the bathroom and brush their teeth, allow them to get their blanket and lay down on their mats.

I used to have a box of books that came out only at nap time. I let the children each choose two books to bring to their mats; and that was it. Those were the books they could look at. Once they decided there was no going back and forth. I chose books that were quiet picture books as well as ones that where more informational. The science information books and children's picture dictionaries are perfect for this. It gives them a lot to look at quietly.

Once you are able to, go over and begin rubbing backs. Start with the ones who fall asleep quickly. When you are rubbing their backs the books have to be stacked at the foot of their cot. This way, when they wake up, the books will be available.

If you have a child who is prone to not fall asleep if they are distracted by the books, but they still need to nap, quietly instruct them to put the books at the end of their mat and they can look at the book when they wake up.

If you are consistent with these rules, the books will not be a distraction to sleep. The other rule I have is the no talking rule. As children are beginning to rest and fall asleep, I quietly remind them, "Talking time is over. It's now time to rest." This way, the children who are going to sleep will be able to do so without distractions.

When a child is being disruptive remember to remind them to REST, not SLEEP. They don't have to sleep; they need to rest.

As they begin waking up, they have their books available to them right away. This way, if they wake up before rest time is over, they have something to do quietly on their mats. If rest time is ending, this gives them something to do as you call them one by one to put their things away.

This should really be the least stressful time of the day.

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