Each day there is a helper of the day. At rest time that helper goes over to our library to choose a book that he/she wishes me to read to the class. As soon as all the children are comfortably on their mats, I then ask them to put on their imagine caps and listen to the story I am about to read. Usually within about six pages the whole classroom is asleep.
Everyday my pre-K class goes to sleep enjoying the relaxing music of ” A CHILD’S GIFT OF LULLABIES ” FYI: Available @Wal-Mart .
I have taught 2 year olds at a Mother’s Day Out program for the last 10 years. I always play soft music during naptime. My ABSOLUTE favorite is “Sleep Sound in Jesus” by Micheal Card. During the school year, I listen to it for 1 1/2 hours twice a week and never get tired of hearing it!
Just did a unit on “Our Big Backyard!” and include this rest time idea. We erected two tents OUTSIDE for 14 children. Separating them carefully, we let them take pillows, blanket, and rest toy. I sat in the doorway to make sure they laid quietly.
I have a class of 12 children 41/2-5 years old. We follow a familiar and comfortable routine each day and believe it or not nap time is a smooth relaxing event for my little gang. One exciting thing we do is “star restores”. Each day that they are great restores each individual child earns one star(I made a “star rester” poster with their names and to keep count of the stars they have earned)when they earn 6 stars they have the exciting and honored task of choosing a small age appropriate prize from the ‘star rester box’—WOW!!! When everyone is settled on their mat we go through our routine….”Madison, you have 3 stars how many more will you need to pick from the star rester box?” It is really great fun and the children are working on math skills during their quest for stars. Parents donate small party favors-stickers-even fast food toys work great. The children really enjoy our nap time challenge and they are very proud of themselves when it is their turn to shine as a STAR RESTER!!!!
I work with 27 4 year olds! I have a hard time getting them all to nap, so what I have started doing is after lunch, take them outside for about 20 minutes to run off some energy so when they come in for nap, they are worn out, so they go to sleep much quicker
As soon as the children lie down for naptime time I play cassette tapes of instrumental gospel music. (On low volume) .
I do find naptime to be a stressful time of the day. A part of our program is for our older children to have a quiet time on their mat. This is not always a very “quiet”, quiet time, so each day (or every few days) I change our quiet mat materials. The most successful is a quiet moment to close our eyes and remember our morning; what mommy was wearing , what boots/shoes did you where, what was your favorite part of group time etc…We then draw a picture of our day in our own space on our mats. This is so relaxing and they so enjoy it.
Nap time ideas: I have my own preschool-ages 3-5.Two things work for me at Rest time: 1. While getting on our mats, we play the “quiet game”-whoever is the most quiet while taking shoes off, choosing a stuffed animal, and laying down, WINS! preschoolers are very competitive, and they enjoy this game! 2. After they lay down, I come around with “Mr. Happy Face” or you could call him Mr. sleepy Head). He is a fuzzy yellow puppet who kisses and hugs each child , and says,” Goodnight ______, I love you, be a good rester.” The children love him , and don’t rest until Mr. Happy Face kisses them goodnight!
Because I have two small children, I have gotten into the habit of having a story before naptime (and bedtime). I have all the children lie down on their tummies on a single bed while I kneel on the floor in front of the bed. We lay the book on the bed so that all the children can see the pictures and read and talk about the story and pictures. This works very well for us because I have a family child care centre and only a small number of children. I find that I can even have a child that is one year or under in the group without much problem as long as the story is short enough for the very young child. My children love this very special time of day.