Nap Time

Nap time seems to be a struggle with so many teachers.  I have seen teachers spend MOST of nap time trying to get everyone to sleep then, once nap is over, try just as hard to WAKE EVERYONE UP!  If they would just take a step back, they would realize that those children who went to sleep last are typically the last to wake up…by an equal amount of time.

I see many strategies employed during nap time.  There are the teachers who pat backs roughly, knocking the breath out of the child at each blow.  If you are a back patter, remember that you are not trying to knock them out, but create a gentle repetitive rhythm that will RELAX the child into a deep sleep.

Then there are the teachers who are face rubbers.  I’ve seen some teachers again rub a face so roughly the children seem to be going cross eyed and their head is bouncing around.  Please note, if you are a face rubber, it is a gentle caress with a light touch.  It is meant to be RELAXING and again not meant to knock the kid out because they are dizzy from their head bouncing around.

There are also those who are the rockers.  These teachers like to hold the children and rock front to back or side to side.  Yes, I have seen teachers ruin this approach as well.  This is meant to be a gentle rocking or swaying motion to, again, RELAX the child; not a time to swing the child quickly back and forth in quick jerky motions.  We are not trying to make the kid pass out from dizzying effects as if on a roller coaster.

Nap time should be a no stress time.  Gentle music, calm face rubbing, gentle patting, and gentle rocking motions.  This isn’t a battle of the wills.  Children aren’t forced to sleep, they are helped to calm and relax themselves so they easily slip into that sleep.

Oh, and if they DON’T sleep?  That’s okay, too.  Give them something quite to do on their mats like read a book or play with a handful of legos.  I mean, seriously?  That’s just a two hour time out if you don’t allow them to do anything and you spend the time yelling at them for playing with their blanket, talking to themselves too loud, etc…

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