Preschool Nap Time Activities
Check out 130 preschool nap time activities that will help take the stress out of that daily ritual for both you and the children.
I teach 19 two-year-olds at a daycare. Every day after lunch, the children go straight to their mats and wait to be covered. We listen to “Baby’s First Beethoven”, and turn off all the lights. Most of them prefer to have their backs rubbed; however, within a matter of 15-20 minutes, every child is asleep.
I have been running my own home daycare for several years now, so I know that it is hard for any teacher to come up with cheap ways to run your class. I had many problems at nap time for a long time until the light went on in my head. I had been wanting to get a good cd of atmosphere sounds, (waves, springs, thunderstorms) but just getting started I really had no funds to do this. So this was my idea, I did have cable t.v. and with almost every cable company they have a channel with nothing but lite classical music playing. Or if you are lucky and have a cable package that includes the music choice selections I always play the atmosphere station or lite classical. These have always worked like a charm because even if the television is on there is nothing showing that will distract the children. I have also made the most of having a cd burner. There are many good sites that you can go to and download a great cd. and to think is really only cost about $.50!
I teach the four year olds at my preschool, and when we lay them down for nap we have them stretch their fingers and toes. we all flex the muscles in our body, and turn off the lights and we always put some ENYA in the cd player!! It works great!
I have found that playing Enya has quieted down most all the children I have cared for. I also like to lay down close and rub their heads and backs. I teach 4 and 5 yr old children and in my class of 12-17 I have only one child that I cannot get to go to sleep. I have shared some of my music with some of the other teachers. I do have to say the only complaint I have had so far is that it almost puts the teachers to sleep as well.
Naptime is always a very relaxing time for me. I have 14, 4&5 year olds. They have their lunch at 11:30, play Duck, Duck, Goose for about 15 minutes while taking turns going to the potty. We then walk to our classroom where the cots have already been laid out with their pillows and blankets already spread out. We then have the Nap-time friend helper go around and pass out the nap-time friends (stuffed animals). We then listen to a story tape. (Their favorite is Jack and the Beanstalk). When the story is over we listen to a soothing tape of music with Ocean sounds in the background, all the while we are rubbing their backs. Sometimes it is hard for us teachers to stay awake!! They are usually all asleep within 1/2 hour.
I teach pre-k at a day care and I have one child who really struggles with naptime. I talked to a friend who is a massage therapist and she suggested that I massage the palm of his hand. The first day I tried it he was asleep in about 5 minutes. He wants me to do this everyday. I figure that 5 minutes of my time is better than having to fight with him for 2 hours.
I teach in a classroom of 10 two year olds. Naptime is right after lunch so while one teacher is reading to the class during lunch, the other is laying out the cots. In order to keep the children calm after eating they all know that they need to sit at the art table and draw while they take turns having their diapers changed and using the potty. At this point we turn out the lights, put on some multicultural calming music, and both teachers pat the backs of the children who need help getting to sleep. Sometimes it helps to slightly bounce or rock the cot (almost like how the movement of a car that puts them to sleep).
I realized that not all children are sleepy, however, need a rest. I decided to find several quiet, small, building toys, drawing toys or manipulatives. I put a small amount in separate baggies and distribute them to the “non sleepers”, once the “sleepers” are asleep. It helps to individualize the interests in those children who couldn’t just lay there for so long, even if the wanted to. As long as they manipulate the small toys quietly, they are allowed to. If they do so quietly, they get a sticker along with the “sleepers”, after nap time. Be sure the small toys are size and age appropriate…no choke hazards please.
I use a tape “Lullabies” from the Lifescapes series. The kids are usually asleep within 5 minutes. We have been using this tape for months so the kids just associate sleep with this tape. It is very soothing. I hope this helps some of you.
My kids take their nap after lunch so I usually start playing their nap CD while their eating to wind them down a bit. I’ve been playing “Spring Rain” for them. It’s a mixture of nature sounds and soft music. While they’re eating, I get their mats ready. After their done eating lunch all they have to do is go potty (or get their diaper changed) and lay down. They’re usually out in a matter of minutes.